Unique specialist fire truck still not used in Cornwall after 18 months
The piece of kit is an all-terrain vehicle with a crane used to lift on and off ‘pods’ which are boxes full of specialist equipment that complement what stations around the county normally have. There is a line rescue pod, a wildfire pod, a disaster response pod and an icy roads pod.
A firefighter of three decades' experience in the county has contacted CornwallLive to warn tax-payers who have footed the bill for the Unimog that the specialist piece of kit, described by Cornwall Council as "unique" has not answered a single operational call yet.
This story reminds me of another related by my father. During the 1950s he worked in the main Derby fire station, although he wasn't a fireman. While he was there, the chief fire officer came up with an idea to tackle domestic chimney fires which comprised a large proportion of fires in their area. He bought a simple commercial van painted red and equipped it with basic kit needed to tackle domestic chimney fires.
I can’t recall what the kit was, maybe ladders, buckets and a stirrup pump as used in the war. Whatever it was, the idea worked well and once it had proved its usefulness, the chief fire officer presented the idea to a gathering of fire officers in other areas.
The end of the story is easily guessed. Fire officers from other areas weren’t interested.