Henley Fire Station are pleased to have taken delivery of a new fire engine last week.
The 2018 Volvo appliance is slightly bigger in length and width than the old one and only has one 13.5m ladder on top now with others being stored within the truck. The new truck has an electronic pump system and new battery operated cutting equipment which has resulted in more space in the lockers because the associated old hydraulic equipment generator and hose is no longer needed.
Firefighter Andy Gosby comments, “The last new truck we got was 2015. We always get hand-me down trucks from the Oxford city stations. They normally have them for the first couple of years so that any problems they have with them are resolved and then they are shipped out to on-call stations like Henley. Because of the new cutting equipment, the fire equipment fits in the lockers better and they are laid out and organised much better. The main difference with the new one is that it has an electronic pump out system with a touch screen, rather than the old system where you had to open nozzles and move levers. You can now just enter the pressure you want. Before you had to have a pump operator standing there making sure that the water was going in and out with the right pressure. It now releases a firefighter to do other stuff at the scene.”
Firefighter Sean adds, “The new truck is easier to drive as it is automatic and it’s nippier around town.” The station currently has two firefighter drivers but they are hoping that the new development firefighters who are in training will be able to drive the new truck soon.
“The old truck will be a spare to be used in Oxfordshire and will be back in Henley when the new one has its annual service. Stations around Oxfordshire might use it if their fire engines break. We’re hoping that the new modern fire appliance will attract more firefighters,” comments Firefighter Michael.
Firefighter Andy added, “The best thing about this is that Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire have all got the same trucks coming in now so all the equipment is going to be the same so when we go on a job together we know where each other’s fire equipment is and because we’re on the borders of other counties we often meet up all the time.”
Development Firefighter Morgan signed up in lockdown last year said, “I moved to Henley in 2018. My other role is a cox at Leander Club and part of the funded athletes for the Project Paris 2024 group. I came to get some smoke alarms from the station in lockdown in March last year and spoke to Michael. He gave me some leaflets about becoming a firefighter and I thought I would give it a go. I applied for the job, did some of the testing and haven’t really looked back since. I did my basic 2-week training course in Jan 2021. After which, I had one assessment which I passed to be fit to be on the run. You then train as you go along. There’s a computer based development programme that you work your way through during your development stage which takes about 18 months to complete. Then I’ll have another assessment to become an official on-call firefighter. I’ve been out to mixture of things already including people being locked out of their houses, a shed fire and chimney fires. If you’re woman thinking about becoming a firefighter, I would say go for it as it is pretty fun! Rowing is great but this has been incredibly enjoyable.”
The Henley fire crew hope to be able to show off the new truck at community events, schools etc when restrictions are completely lifted. If you would like to find out more about becoming a firefighter, pop down to the station on West Street or message them on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/henleyfirestation