Firefighters’ new ladder is highest in the country

The new aerial platform
The new aerial platform

Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service has taken delivery of a new aerial ladder platform (ALP) which is the highest in the country.

The new ALP has a reach of 45 metres (one and a half times the height of the existing 30m platform) and has been designed and built to specifications set out by the firefighters who will operate it.

Area Commander Andy Hopcraft said: “The new ALP will help us in a number of situations, whether we need to rescue someone from height or reach an inaccessible fire.

“The 45m reach will mostly be useful for reaching over the tops of relatively low buildings to get access to fires in roofs, within collapsed buildings and at the back of buildings.”

The platform is also able to carry more weight than the old model, allowing up to half a tonne of kit, firefighters and casualties to be lifted to and from where they are needed.

The cage at the top is larger than before, allowing wheelchair access and making it easier to rescue casualties.

Cabinet member for community safety, Terry Hone, said: “This is one of the most expensive vehicles we’ve ever bought for the fire service but we believe it’s a great investment. It’s been designed by firefighters, for firefighters, and is a big step up in capability for our fire service.

“I’m confident it will make a real difference to our ability to keep both the public and our firefighters safe.”

The new ALP will be based at Stevenage Fire Station and deployed to incidents across the county.