Page 18 - July 2017
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New Special Rescue Unit for Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service
 Fire Crew training with the new SRU vehicle
Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (BFRS) is blazing the trail with the launch of their new bespoke, state-of-the-art Special Rescue Unit. Bedfordshire has over the years, found it increasingly called upon to attend a wide variety of non-fire rescues known as ‘Special Services’. These include Road Traffic Collisions, transport, industrial and large animal incidents. The Authority recognised that there was a need to replace the previous Rescue Unit with a Specialist Rescue Service (SRU) specifically designed to deal with a growing and unpredictable range of incidents. A bespoke SRU was needed that could be mobilised to complicated or complex rescues where the equipment normally carried on a Rescue Pump is not sufficient.
The development of the new vehicle was undertaken by a Service working group in close partnership with John Dennis Coach Builders and numerous suppliers of technical rescue equipment.
The first steps were taken to create the latest in five generations of Bedfordshire SRU’s which began in the 1960s with a converted military truck. Like the previous SRU this vehicle has been purpose built and is suitable for all of the traditional specialist equipment carried on previous SRUs and the latest state-of-the- art items bought by the Authority’s Technical Department to meet today’s requirements. These include heavy rescue cutting and
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spreading, specialist animal rescue equipment, air and electric power tools, water rescue paths and low pressure air mats.
Group Commander Andy Draper – Technical and Workshops, said, “It was a proud day in April when members of the working group travelled to Guildford to collect the SRU from the John Dennis Coach Works. This has been a real team effort and product of effective partnership working. Our team knew through experience what we needed and how they wanted it to be designed. Our partners provided the expertise to take our requirements and put them into this fantastic new vehicle, the latest in this list of long serving and reliable vehicles that have played such an important part in the safety of people in Bedfordshire.”
The new SRU took three years from inception to completion and has an expected life span of more than 20 years.
Chief Fire Officer Paul Fuller CBE is delighted with the new edition to the Service, he said, “We have had a specialist rescue capability for many years, this new unit designed by firefighters will enhance that capability and allow us to help a greater and wider range of people in communities throughout Bedfordshire.”
Peter Hopkins
PR & Marketing Committee.
Worshipful Company of Firefighters

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