Noise ban for fire engines

Buxton Fire station, with one of the pumps, crash tender and water carrier
Buxton Fire station, with one of the pumps, crash tender and water carrier

TWO of Derbyshire’s cutting-edge fire engines have not been used for a year-and-a-half – because they are too noisy.

The vehicles, called aerial rescue platforms, were delivered to Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service in January 2010.

However, fire chiefs say the engines, believed to be for use in Chesterfield and Derby, are too loud and “may constitute a health issue” for the public and firefighters – so they cannot be used.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Andy Waldie said: “Since the delivery, there has been a need for some considerable training and familiarisation with the vehicles.

“During this period, it was identified that the vehicles’ noise is excessive and may constitute a health issue.

“We must consider the safety, not only of members of the public when we respond, but also of our firefighters.

“As a result, these engines will not go ‘on the run’ until we are satisfied that they are entirely safe.”

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service leases the vehicles,which are a combination of an ordinary fire engine and a high-rise ladder, providing an ‘innovative approach to emergency response’, at a cost of £119,000 per year.

After hearing about this story, Derbyshire Times readers Amandajane Stevenson, Wendy Joel, Emily Barrie and Helen Howard, commenting on our Facebook, said health and safety had gone “mad” and “crazy”.

Kelly Harper added: ‘‘Who cares about a bit of noise if these fire engines could save lives?”

The news comes as Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service faces making savings of £5m by 2014 due to Government cutbacks.

Four fire engines and scores of jobs are under threat as a result of the cost-cutting measures.

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michael.broomhead

@derbyshiretimes.co.uk