A MINI FIRE engine will use a modern foam system more efficient than water at extinguishing blazes, parish councillors have heard.
The councillors remain concerned over plans to introduce a controversial new fire engine to Frodsham.
Helsby Parish Council was shown film of Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Targeted Response Vehicle (TRV) in action.
The £70,000 vehicle has been controversial with some Cheshire fire crews but could eventually replace the conventional tender at Frodsham retained service.
Head of emergency response Peter Walsh told the meeting on Monday night: “The TRVs will be in addition to the current tender.
“Eventually we might want to have two TRVs in Frodsham instead of one standard engine, but that’s a long way down the line.”
The Cheshire Fire Brigade Union is concerned the Iveco appliances have shorter ladders, carry fewer staff than a conventional fire engine, have half the water capacity and do not have the full range of equipment.
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service performance delivery group manager Keith Brooks said: “The size of the TRV is much more useful in the streets of places like Frodsham. It carries virtually the same equipment. The vehicles have been used in Europe for more than 30 years.”
The TRVs use a modern compressed air foam system (CAFS) instead of traditional high pressure water.
CAFS is a mixture of compressed air, water and a concentrate giving the droplets a larger surface area than water and it puts fires out faster.
Keith Brooks added: “It’s very environmentally friendly, there’s less water run-off flooding drains and water courses. It also uses 80% less water which is better for the buildings.”
The CAFS system also makes the hoses lighter, meaning crews can work for longer and quicker than using the conventional system.
Helsby Parish Council chairman Stuart Hulse said: “The main concern was that it carries shorter ladders.
“While we saw the effect of the foam, which I was quite impressed with and made me realise why they don’t carry so much water, I’m still not convinced about the ladders.
“I still have concerns but the proof of the pudding is in the eating.”
Visit our forums at www.chesterchronicle.co.uk and tell us what you think of plans to introduce TRV fire engines to Frodsham Fire Station.