Firefighters to tackle emergencies from new heights

Council Leader Louise Goldsmith, Chief Fire Officer Gavin Watts, Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities Debbie Kennard and Executive Director Communities and Public Protection Nicola Bulbeck with the new aerial ladder platform.
Council Leader Louise Goldsmith, Chief Fire Officer Gavin Watts, Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities Debbie Kennard and Executive Director Communities and Public Protection Nicola Bulbeck with the new aerial ladder platform.

A state-of-the-art aerial ladder platform to help West Sussex firefighters tackle emergencies at inaccessible areas has been delivered.

The new appliance can extend a ladder so firefighters can rescue people from buildings such as blocks of flats and put out fires from above.

New aerial platform with County Hall in the background

New aerial platform with County Hall in the background

It can also be used to provide lighting at the scene of an incident and to monitor fires.

With its long reach it can also be used for rescues from inaccessible areas and below ground level.

The state of the art aerial ladder platform, which came in under budget at a cost of £610,000, will be based at Horsham Fire Station replacing one which has been in service for 18 years.

Gavin Watts, chief fire officer at West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The aerial platform has many new features over the older model including a reach of up to 32 metres and greater manoeuvrability making it much more flexible.

new aerial ladder platform fully extended

new aerial ladder platform fully extended

“Feedback on its performance and functionality is really positive from crews who are training on it.”

Debbie Kennard, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for safer, stronger communities, said: “I am delighted we are able to invest in this new leading edge appliance for our fantastic fire and rescue service. This new appliance will help keep our county safe.”

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service has a second aerial ladder platform based at Worthing Fire Station.

New aerial ladder platform

New aerial ladder platform