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It's a 4x4 Man !


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Popped down to the Emergency Services Show at Cotswolds Airport, and saw this.

Being "non job", I wondered what the purpose of this machine was. I realise that could be a silly question, but wondered why we are seeing 4x4's now, when surely every pound spent has to give best value for money, why have we not seen (maybe It's just me) this sort of kit in the past? Presumably this would be a lot more expensive than a normal vehicle.

36197352933_2f3936eb40_h.jpgIMG_1420 by Jim Pritchard, on Flickr

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I am no expert but my guess is that this appliance is to reach incidents that are 'off road', where a non 4x4 would struggle to get to..... but I may be completely wrong. 

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We have the exact one at our station (the picture is from a neighboring station). Its purpose is for adverse weather and off road firefighting. We have ours due to the micro climate in the winter and large areas of farm land and a couple of remote/small airfields. Couple in the south of the county are for the heath (they work alongside the Landrovers and our Unimog). A couple of stations (including the one in the picture) have them for the level 2 wading water rescue teams as they have a greater clearance for water.

Carries a crew of 5, 4x BA sets, 10.5m ladder, CAFS as well as the standard 2x HRJ etc. full hydraulic rescue equipment. In fact the only things it doesn't have over our standard appliance is the 13.5m ladder,  and air lifting bags).

Before you can drive it you spend the day down at the Army tank training center at Bovington. It will go anywhere a Landrover will go and easily handles the tank training track we are allowed to use. Only downsides the crew is limited to 5, they are a nightmare to climb into, they are speed restricted, can be slow to pull away and they tyre whine is massive. Other than that they are brilliant fun to drive and an off road vehicle designed to go on the road. 

Ours comes into its own on farms or straw field fires. It was recently used at a Tigermoth that crashed into a strawfield. We got in and didn't have to worry about grounding out or getting stuck over the standard Dennis or Scania appliances. 

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