Two new vehicles to be trialled by West Midlands Fire Service

'Opportunity to explore how we can further diversify our fleet and our responses to incidents' - two new fire service vehicles to be trialled.

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Published on 6 October 2023

Firefighters set to trial two new 999 response vehicles

For six months from October, West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) will be adding an IVECO and Mercedes to its operational fleet.

They will be used by fire crews to respond to incidents and when they undertake fire prevention and protection work in their communities.

Crews based at Coventry, Highgate in Birmingham, and Walsall fire stations will take part in the trial.

It’s part of WMFS’s drive to ensure that its blended fleet remains as flexible and future-proof as possible.

Area Manager Steve Ball, of WMFS, said: “Since 2013 we’ve operated 4×4 brigade response vehicles – BRVs – alongside our traditional fire engines. These two vehicles provide an opportunity to explore how we can further diversify our fleet and our responses to incidents.

“They will respond to 999 calls, such as road traffic collisions and fires. They will also be used by our firefighters when, for example, they’re undertaking community safety work.”

Two liveried fire service vehicles parked together
Area Manager Steve Ball - Head of Protection

Steve Ball

Area Manager

"
The vehicles provide an opportunity to explore how we can further diversify our fleet and our responses to incidents
"

The trial vehicles, both C1 class, will rotate between Walsall, Highgate and Coventry and be tested alongside the stations’ current vehicles. They can both carry crews of three and four, which mirrors current crewing levels at the stations.

They also carry more water and equipment than WMFS’s existing BRVs, and offer alternative ways of stowing breathing apparatus equipment.

Firefighters’ feedback will be captured throughout the six-month trial, before a full evaluation takes place and future fleet decisions are taken.

A side view of a fire service vehicle
A liveried fire service vehicle, viewed from front left