Operational Update – Improving On-Call Fire Engine Availability
24 September 2019
To address the challenges we face with availability of fire engines at particular On-Call stations, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service are deploying Tactical Response Vehicles (TRVs) to four On-Call stations in December 2019.
Each of the nominated stations suffer from recruitment and workforce levels which results in the fire engines often being unavailable, and frequently due to a crew of three personnel being available, rather than four firefighters as currently planned for.
In usual circumstances, the On-Call TRVs will operate with a minimum crew of four and will attend the full range of incidents as the standard On-Call fire engine does now.
This crewing figure would be planned for as it is now, however, when the available crewing number drops to three firefighters, using a TRV in the place of standard fire engine will mean firefighters can still be deployed to an incident, albeit to a smaller range of incidents.
This will improve fire cover and availability in these locations, and improve the response time to some incidents, stopping the need to bring resources from further afield, and enhancing the protection for these communities.
It will also help in recruitment and retention of on-call firefighters into that station.
TRVs are a slightly smaller fire engine carrying high specification equipment that makes them more effective in responding to certain incidents. They were introduced in North Yorkshire in 2017 but were removed from service in 2018 after safety concerns were raised.
Extensive safety testing was conducted and after rigorous, independent and nationally accredited testing, the vehicles were cleared for reintroduction, with two already redeployed to Harrogate and Scarborough stations in July this year.
We have also fitted nine metre ladders onto the TRVs to improve functionality.