Five new engines are about to join the ranks of the Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service.
The new vehicles are currently at Douglas fire station where they are undergoing final checks and crews are training on them before they are sent out to their new homes around the island.
At around £217,000 each, the engines are a significant investment but assistant divisional officer Carl Kinvig said they struck such a good deal with the supplier that each new vehicle cost around £23,000 less than last time.
‘The vehicles being replaced are between 15 and 17 years old,’ he said.
‘So it definitely needed doing. Some equipment will be transferred from the old vehicles to the new. Other equipment supplied with the vehicles is better. For example the pumps will shift 650 gallons per minute on the new vehicles, compared with 500 on the old ones.’
The fire engines are custom built from a basic cab, engine and chassis from Volvo. A firm in Holland extends the cab and another in Scotland adds the back section with the fire fighting equipment.
One of the bespoke elements for the island is a 90-metre hose pipe rather than the standard 54, to tackle fires down the island’s narrow lanes and alleyways where the engine itself might not fit. Training will also be simpler because all vehicles of that type in the island will now be the same.
Of the five old engines, one will be kept as a spare, another as a training vehicle, two will be sold off and one given to charity.