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Airport Firefighting Service try 24-tonne £400,000 vehicle for size

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IT weighs 24 tonnes, is 8.6 metres-long, 2.6 metres wide and is capable of pumping 5,200 litres of water every single minute.

Airport Rescue and Firefighting Service Chief Fire Officer Mark Galvin with (left) the new Iturri 4x4 appliance and one of the current 32-tonne 6x6 vehicles

But for the Airport Rescue and Firefighting Service, their new £400,000 Izurri Toro 4x4 fire engine is considerably smaller than the six-wheel 32-tonne trucks they are used to.

And senior officers are hoping to replace their current gas-guzzling fleet with the cheaper and more environmentally friendly vehicles in the future.

Chief Fire Officer Mark Galvin says that the new trucks will not only save them around £200,000 per vehicle but also allow them to access the Island’s smaller roads more easily when responding to an emergency.

‘Our current 32-tonne 6x6 vehicles cost around £700,000 each, so we looked at more cost-effective options and found that we could stay within Airport firefighting regulations by using smaller 4x4 vehicles which cost around £400,000.

‘On the 6x6 vehicles, it costs £17,500 to replace all the tyres which is not only not cost effective and bad for our budget, but also not great for the environment. It costs £3,500 for a new set of tyres on the new truck.’

The new Spanish-built tender is able to achieve six miles per gallon rather than one and could allow the service to cut their diesel usage from 2,800 litres to 600 litres annually per vehicle.

Mr Galvin also said that their current tenders were three-metres wide and eleven metres long which made it more difficult to respond to incidents on or outside the Airport perimeter.

‘In 2004 we had a plane crash at the end of the runway just after take-off and we caused quite a bit of damage to our fire appliance and public property getting to the incident because of its size.

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‘The new truck is quite a bit smaller and much more ideal for accessing the lanes around the airport.’

However, the current fleet will only be downsized if the new trucks receive approval from the crew.

Mr Galvin said: ‘It could be the best vehicle in the world but if it does not meet their needs then it is no good.’

Fire truck facts

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Iturri Toro 4x4 MTEC4

- Gross weight: 24 tonnes

- Length: 8.6 metres

- Width: 2.6 metres

- Top speed: 77 mph

- Acceleration: 0-50 mph in 23 seconds

- Water capacity: 6,100 litres

- Foam capacity [mixed with water]: 790 litres

- Dry powder capacity: 225 kg

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