Four bright, shiny new fire engines are ready to roll in Northamptonshire for the first time in more than a decade.
State-of-the-art appliances, costing a whopping £350,000 each, will replace older versions at full-time stations at The Mounts, Mereway, Moulton and Kettering.
Three of the engines that are being replaced will go to on-call stations at Guilsborough, Woodford Halse and Rothwell, taking over from machinery up to 20 years old.
Responsibility for the county’s fire service moved to the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner’s office in 2019 following years of crippling under-investment from the county council.
Stephen Mold said: “When I took over governance, the aim was to get us into a position where we could stabilise our finances and then be able to invest.
“We lobbied the government extensively to ensure we got additional funding for the fire service.
"And we are on a really positive journey, which is why we’ve been able to not only invest in recruiting more firefighters into the organisation.
"But we’ve also been able to purchase these new engines to give them the best possible kit to ensure they are well trained and well-equipped to keep the county safe.”
Enhancements in the Type B appliances include air conditioning for the cab to help after exposure to high temperatures, new cutting equipment for road traffic collisions, and bigger hoses and fuel tanks to help firefighting capability.
Four more appliances will be added to the fleet in the coming months plus a new aerial appliance for Moulton that will be able to reach a height of 42.3 metres, a significant upgrade on the current 28-metre capability.
Chief Fire Officer Darren Dovey added: “It’s been a long time since we were able to invest in new fire engines for our crews and I’m delighted that they are going to be getting some exciting new state-of-the-art equipment.
"Not only will this really help in terms of the quality of protection we can offer to our residents, it’s also vastly enhancing the working conditions and welfare of our staff.