Evening News joins launch of new fire engines in Edinburgh

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The safety of local communities has been bolstered following a multi-million pound investment in new fire appliances including one at Tollcross – Scotland’s busiest station.

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Reporter Fiona Pringle on board one of the appliances.

Reporter Fiona Pringle on board one of the appliances.

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Another appliance, at a cost of approximately £550,000, will be stationed at McDonald Road with a further three going to other front line Scottish Fire and Rescue Service stations.

The new appliances, including Aerial Ladder Platforms (ALPs) and a Turntable Ladder (TTL) were unveiled during a convoy through the city centre.

The five engines set-off from George IV Bridge under a police escort and made their way through the city before arriving outside the Scottish Parliament.

Scottish Fire Rescue Scotland unveiled five new appliances.

Scottish Fire Rescue Scotland unveiled five new appliances.

Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, Annabelle Ewing MSP, welcomed the investment in the fire service’s front line arsenal. She said: “Scotland benefits from a fire and rescue service with highly-skilled and professional staff, and it is right that it has access to the latest technologies and equipment to safeguard our communities from a range of incidents and potential threats.

“The Scottish Government continues to invest in our world-class fire and rescue service, protecting the SFRS’s revenue funding this year, while significantly increasing its capital budget to acquire critical equipment such as these new vehicles.

“These state-of-the-art appliances will greatly enhance the resources Scotland’s fire-fighters can call upon in emergency situations and they can be mobilised to incidents right across the country to help preserve life and keep people safe.”

And firefighters were on hand to demonstrate the capabilities of the modern, more nimble vehicles, perfect for the narrow streets of the city.

Scott Roberts, fleet manager explained: “A key feature of the ALP, which is designed to deploy an elevated master stream of water, while you’ve got 7000 litres of water per minute flowing through the pipe, the ladder which runs alongside the pipe, used for access or escape, will not flex.

“And on the turntable appliance, we can have as many as 18 people on the ladder being rescued at one time. Added to these capabilities is the vehicles green credentials, they now do nine miles to the gallon as opposed to six in the old vehicles.”

The new appliances replace an aging fleet last updated 30 years ago and now comply with up to date emission guidelines.

SFRS Chief Officer Alasdair Hay said: “I’m absolutely delighted to welcome the arrival of these cutting-edge vehicles.