£250k new engine for fire crews

Soham fire station is set to take delivery of a new £250,000 fire engine on Thursday.

It is more than 30 years since the station last received a new engine and on Tuesday it launched a campaign to try and recruit more on-call firefighters to make sure it is operational 24 hours a day.

The Fountain Lane station is one of nine Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) on-call bases to receive one of the new light water appliances and station commander Martin Ockenden said it was now looking for an additional six on call firefighters to join its current crew of 12 so it could get the most out of the new engine’s features which include specialist stabilising equipment, an electrically operated vehicle-mounted winch and a heavy goods vehicle platform.

“This is the best out there. We have now got very high level equipment for dealing with our main risk which is road traffic accidents,” he said.

“The on-call team are the mainstay of our service and the challenge is to get enough staff to make sure that we have got 24 hour coverage for the new vehicle

“With our proactive recruitment we will have the right people in the right places with the right skills so we are pleased with where we are going and our direction.

In 2012, Soham faced losing one of its two trucks in a money-saving exercise after CFRS was told it had to save £4.2m across four years due to a reduction in government funding. According to the service those savings were made two years ahead of schedule and the money has now been reinvested back into the service.

Mr Ockenden said: “With prudent management we have put ourselves in a position where we are equipped to deal with the challenges of the future.

To find out about joining the on-call crew, go to http://www.cambsfire.gov.uk/recruitment.php.