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New Aerial Ladder Platform

A new Aerial Ladder Platform (high reach vehicle) is now operational in Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS), further strengthening the Service’s capabilities to respond to the people of Royal Berkshire in times of emergency.

The deployment of this new vehicle has been made possible thanks to investment made by Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, under its Strategic Asset Investment Framework.

The vehicle went into service during August. Since then, crews have become familiar with this new equipment and it was officially handed over from Royal Berkshire Fire Authority to firefighters at Whitley Wood Fire Station on Friday, 19 November. In attendance at the event were Councillor Colin Dudley, Chairman, Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, Councillor Pauline Helliar-Symons, Vice Chairman, Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, Councillor Angus Ross, Lead Member for Strategic Assets, Royal Berkshire Fire Authority and Wayne Bowcock, Chief Fire Officer, RBFRS.

Councillor Colin Dudley, Chairman of Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, said: “I am delighted that as a Fire Authority we have invested in this important equipment, which will directly benefit residents of Royal Berkshire.

“The new Aerial Ladder Platform has a significantly increased reach over the vehicle it replaces, which supports work to improve the Service’s response in complex operations and incidents within high-rise buildings.”

Wayne Bowcock, Chief Fire Officer of RBFRS said: “I would like to place on record my thanks to the Fire Authority for their investment and our colleagues in Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service for working together effectively to deliver this equipment, which will benefit taxpayers in our two Counties.

“To maintain a modern fire and rescue service, it is important that we provide fit-for-purpose, 21st century operational equipment to support our firefighters in the delivery excellent services to the communities we serve. This gives our residents the reassurance and confidence that we have the equipment and professional skill to respond quickly and highly effectively.”

Reaching a maximum total height of 45 meters, the new aerial appliance offers increased outreach at incidents, allowing the vehicle to reach incidents in taller buildings. Importantly, it enables extra horizontal reach, which will enable firefighters to access more difficult to reach areas.

Councillor Angus Ross, Lead Member for Strategic Assets on Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, said: “This new replacement Aerial Ladder Platform has been delivered as part of a collaborative procurement exercise with Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service, which has seen two new vehicles delivered, achieving both financial efficiency and improving cross-border working.

“This collaborative procurement follows on from the successful purchase of a new fleet of fire engines across the Thames Valley, which has delivered 19 new vehicles to Berkshire alone over the past four years.”

The new Aerial Ladder Platform is a Bronto Skylift 45XR, that has been built by Angloco on a Volvo chassis. It forms part of a programme to update the Service’s fleet with state-of-the-art vehicles, incorporating the latest technology.

It offers a range of improved capabilities for firefighters serving the communities of Royal Berkshire, including:

  •  A maximum working rescue height of 45 metres.
  • An outreach of 25.8 metres at a 500kg platform weight limit.
  • A large, well-equipped rescue platform, including wheelchair accessibility.
  • LED lighting enabling good visibility at night.
  • A high capacity waterway, enabling firefighters to deliver a maximum of 3,800 litres of water per minute through the vehicle. This can be controlled through a remote control.

To find out more about RBFRS’ fleet, please visit: