NK53 HYP This blue Yamaha is used by firefighters in Durham and Darlington to help educate youths on avoiding road accidents. The writing on the side reads “Firewatch – safer people, safer places”.
The rear shot, showing the second bike in the iron lung (NK53 JHV). The pair of bikes were previously operated by the police, but it was thought that the message about road safety would be more effective coming from fire fighters as they generally receive more respect from that age group.
RO04 EWC This is a Honda ST1300 fire motorbike. It was the first successful operational response motorcycle in the UK. It was set up and ridden by Crew Manager Terry Clarry in Liverpool city centre from June 2004 to May 2009. It responded to automated fire alarms, the majority of which had been found to be false alarms in the past. The bike was also used as an engagement tool for youth programmes and was requested by the city council during large public events.
This red Specialized mountain bike has four blue lights fitted to the front as well as a small siren. It has been decked out in bright yellow striping and even the saddle has a picture of flames on it. The bike is not operational – it was specially built for a police, fire and ambulance cycle race up the Brooklands hill-climb course in Surrey.
Some fire brigades use unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) or microdrones at major incidents. This is an example of a unmanned air vehicles (UAV) or microdrone. It has four rotors which run on electric motors. The battery lasts between 15 and 40 minutes depending on the wind, and only takes a few seconds to swap for a fresh one. When flying at 100 feet, the aircraft is silent and almost invisible.
The control desk for the UAV. A Laptop relays the picture to the controller. The radio control can also be seen on the table. It can be operated by one man when using special goggles that allow you to see what the camera is seeing, as well as where the UAV is. This low-cost alternative to a manned helicopter can allow firefighters an unparalleled overview of the fireground. The vehicles can be fitted with video, thermal or stills cameras. They are remote controlled and can automatically hover using an in-built GPS receiver.
6pm on Wednesday 13 November 2002 saw the first national firefighter strike since 1977. Army, Navy and RAF personnel manned their own emergency firefighting vehicles, including over 800 Green Goddesses, while picketing firefighters and control room operators watched on. This began a series of walk-outs lasting between 1 and 8 days that stretched into 2003.
The Fire Brigade Union flag – a familiar sight at picket lines up and down the country.
Despondent fire-fighters huddle around the brazier during the 24-hour strike on 21 January 2003.
A large crowd of fire service employees show their appreciation at passing motorists sounding their horns in support of the strike.
The flag of North Yorkshire Fire Brigade, showing York Minster on fire, a rescue boat and fire fighters using water hoses.
A Bedford RLHZ Self-Propelled Pump, more commonly known as a Green Goddess. This engine is on standby a few hours before the start of the strike in Chester-le-Street, County Durham. It was built on the Bedford S chassis between 1953-6 and can attain 50 mph with its four-wheel drive system.
An Assistant Divisional Officer discusses matters with two other firefighters five minutes into the second strike. The symbolic brazier ironically burns in the foreground while a pump remains permanently parked in the background.
A general view of the picket line. This same scene is duplicated up and down the country. The departing night- and arriving day- crews are joined by more firefighters for a show of presence at the start of the strike. A Station Officer acknowledges passing motorists sounding their horns in the foreground.
At another station, handwritten signs rally passing motorist’s and pedestrian’s support as firefighters sit glumly at the picket.
A Fire Brigade Union official picket line during the first 48-hour strike. Firefighters chat about their 40% pay rise demands as the FBU flags flutter and the brazier burns in the foreground.
The very first call out of RAF firefighting personnel in York. At exactly 7:30pm a North Yorkshire Police Peugeot emerges from Imphal Barracks, Fulford, escorting a RAF LDV open-backed truck.
The RAF vehicle is a modern van that is much sprightlier than a Green Goddess. It rushes out of the barracks with blue lights flashing.
Both emergency vehicles make haste into the foggy night. The police car is used to aid the firefighters vehicle through traffic as well as provide radio contact. The RAF vehicle does not have a siren fitted.
A Green Goddess fire appliance, SYH 135, on standby during the strikes. It has the three coloured circles of the Royal Air Force on the doors. Notice the two small circles above the windscreen. These used to show amber lights when responding to emergencies, a forerunner of the modern blue lights.
The rear view. The wheeled ladders and water outlets are visible. It carries all of the basic firefighting equipment, including miles of hoses, pumps, foam, water, chimney rods and some cutting equipment.
In stark contrast to the Green Goddess is this 2002 Ford Transit RAF rescue vehicle. Known as a BART (breathing apparatus rescue team), this double-cab open-back van carries BA units and other rescue equipment that the Green Goddess doesn’t.
The side view of this long wheelbase version Transit.
An emergency call! Camouflage uniform-clad RAF personnel jump into the Bedford RLHZ Green Goddess. Two officers run to the main road and stop the traffic. Here it is emerging from the barracks where it is stationed.
A procession of four emergency vehicles head into the murky Sunday afternoon with blue lights flashing. A Peugeot Explorer police van leads the Green Goddess. Following is a Peugeot 306 police car escorting the BART.
Here are two Royal Navy BARTs, photographed at Chelsea Barracks in central London. Notice the range of colour schemes and the blue lights with in-built siren. The blue LDV has a military registration whereas the white Ford Transit has a civilial plate. Just behind the vans is a police Landrover Discovery used to escort them.
This Volvo FL6.14 is a appliance of London’s Fire Service College at Moreton-in-Marsh. Built in 1990, it has been stripped of it’s livery and assigned a temporary call sign for use in the 2002 strikes. It is manned by the Royal Welsh Fusiliers.
The next three photographs were taken at the scene of a major shop fire in Lewisham, South London. This first photo shows a Green Goddess parked up next to the rear of the property. A military officer is cooling the door near the seat of the fire.
A few steps backwards is this scene. A Metropolitan Police Vauxhall Omega estate has escorted a Toyota Hi-Lux to the fire scene. The Green Goddess can again be seen in the background as well as the rear of another Omega. The area is taped off to allow the ‘firefighters’ to work unhindered.
A police officer looks on as military personnel fight the fire. On the main street there are an abnormally large number of emergency vehicles. For every military appliance there is a police vehicle to escort it. From left to right is: A Green Goddess, a Ford Explorer Pick-up, another Green Goddess, a Ford Transit Metropolitan Police van, a Met Ford Fiesta then a Mercedes Sprinter police van.
Airport Fire (2006)
This page shows photographs of the fire service at Humberside International Airport demonstrating their fire fighting capabilities on their mock airplane test rig.
Train Crash Exercise (2006)
Photographs of the fire brigade and other emergency services reacting to a train crash exercise. The situation is that a laden train has crashed at speed into the buffers at the end of a platform at Leeds station.
VE02 YLG and YB05 FVD, Very soon afterwards, senior fire officers begin to arrive at the scene in marked and semi-marked vehicles. On the left here is a Vauxhall Frontera and on the right a Renault Megane.
YJ04 ATF Police vehicles from the city centre also arrive to assist. The police’s main aims are to make the scene safe where ambulance and fire personnel are working, as well as controlling people movements and communication.
YD54 UHB More emergency vehicles continue to arrive at the scene. This fire brigade Volvo V70 is being used as a temporary control unit. It has a red flashing light as well as the usual blue lights on the roof. Fire brigade control vehicles are allowed to show a red and white checkered light to all sides.
The front view of the Volvo. This car can quickly get to a major incident and assume a command position until a dedicated command and control appliance attends. Most counties have only one such appliance and it may have to travel some distance to get to where it is needed.
The rear view, showing the windowed office and briefing area. Small red flashing lights can be seen along the checkered band. The valuable personalised registration plate WY1 has been handed down from vehicle to vehicle over the years.
Other fire fighters lay out tarpaulins and place cutting equipment on them. The ‘jaws of life’ that are often used at road accidents can be used here to open train doors and remove mangled metal from the carriages.
Fire brigade personnel use ramps to get injured people off the train. It is quite a long way down when the train is not alongside the platform. The walking wounded are helped off the train while paramedics treat people inside the carriages.
T738 VWT and YD52 TVP, Due to the number of casualties the ambulance service have sent two control units to help coordinate the casualty treatment. Both vehicles are Mercedes Benz Sprinters but are different ages and carry different liveries.
YJ05 AEB A West Yorkshire Police Vauxhall Astra is parked up a short distance from the station. Officers are assisting the transport police with accident scene management. The car is left a short distance away so fire and ambulance vehicles can park closer – giving better access to equipment and medical aid.
Flat Fire (2005)
Here we look at a large fire at a modern apartment block. The fire was reported in the roof of at 5:15pm on a Friday evening. The crews had difficulties with water pressure from hydrants and accessing the fire. The situation soon escalated, and at its height 80 firefighters were tasked to this incident.
The situation at the rear of the four-storey building. It is clear that this is a serious incident. All the residents were successfully evacuated at an early stage. There is difficulty in bringing the fire under control, so more personnel and engines are requested.
A number of police officers have also arrived. They deal with crowd control, directing traffic and liaising with the evacuated residents, some of whom are just returning from work to find their homes on fire.
Such a large fire attracts the media. Press reporters and photographers are present, as well as local BBC and ITV television cameras and reporters. The first reporters on the scene are briefed by a UKev photographer as to what has happened before their arrival.
YJ05 ACZ The local traffic police in a Volvo V70 T5 help control the traffic on the neighbouring main road. Water hoses have been placed across the road to get to hydrants and traffic has to slow as it drives over small ramps to get over them.
P108 FEF Older engines from retained (un-manned) fire stations arrive to help with the effort. The change of shift at 6pm means that more firefighters need to be brought in before exhausted ones can leave.
The following day: This is the situation as firefighters dampen down the properties and make safe any weak structures. This photograph was taken some 18 hours after the fire started, and is almost identical to the first photo in this album. 50 properties were damaged, with damage running into tens of millions of pounds.
Disused Warehouse Fire (2004)
A large fire breaks out in a disused warehouse in Leeds
YH53 FKZ is a marked up Volkswagen Passat diesel estate fire car used by a West Yorkshire Fire service senior officer. It is joined here with R959 RHL, a WYMAS Mercedes ambulance and a West Yorkshire Police Vauxhall Astra panda car.
Extrication From Car (2003)
Here we look at how the fire brigade responds to a collision where a driver is trapped in their car. This is part of an exercise so the driver is simulating being trapped and injured.
Two fire appliances arrive at the scene of the collision. A blue Vauxhall Astra’s driver is trapped in his car. The fire brigade waste no time in collecting their cutting equipment from the rescue tender to use of the vehicle. One of the firefighters assesses the casualty’s injuries and reassures him.
Within a few seconds the car is secured with chocks and the ‘jaws of life’ cutting equipment begins cutting through the roof pillars. The casualty is shielded from and flying debris with a board. On cars equipped with a steering wheel airbag, specially designed boards are fixed over them in case they fire.
While the cutting continues, one firefighter uses brute force to bend the doors as far back as possible to aid access to the injured driver. The team works in almost total silence; everyone knowing what has to be done.
The firefighters help the casualty into the back of the single-crewed ambulance and then begin to tidy the scene. The total time from the firefighter first speaking to the casualty to them being placed in the back of the ambulance is seven minutes.
Scrap Yard Fire (2001)
This scrap yard fire on Tyneside sent thick clouds of black smoke into the air as firefighters spent many hours battling to control the blaze. The pillars of smoke could be seen for over 30 miles as 1000 tonnes of scrap caught fire at an industrial estate in Blaydon. 14 fire appliances were used as well as the Tyne and Wear Fire Brigade boat as it bordered the River Tyne.
The smoke caused problems on the nearby A1 as traffic had to negotiate fog-like conditions. The smoke could be seen 30 miles away. The police helicopter was used for a short time to determine the centre of the blaze using its thermal imaging camera.