2017-09-03

Surrey Fire and Rescue select Scania for new breed of driver trainer vehicle

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service has developed a new breed of driver training vehicle based on a Scania P 320 DB4x2 chassis equipped with a Scania safety crew cab.

With the capacity to fulfil three separate roles – conventional truck training, fire appliance training, and the ability to function as an incident support unit when required – Surrey's investment in this state-of-the-art solution represents a considerable long-term saving as well as dispensing with the need to tie up the Service's front line appliances for training purposes.

"The new training vehicle is the outcome of a detailed examination of operational needs," comments Rory Coulter, Head of Logistics for Surrey Fire and Rescue Service. "Previously, we relied on a regular truck for Category C training with trainees then progressing to one of our front line fire appliances for EFAD (Emergency Fire Appliance Driver) training. Now, one truck serves both purposes, with the added bonus that we have an additional vehicle which can be used as a front line incident support unit as and when needed.

High quality and reliable

In terms of the Scania chassis and crew cab, our experience of the market has shown Scania to be a high quality, reliable product with a long life expectancy and low whole life costs

Rory Coulter

Head of Logistics for Surrey Fire and Rescue Service

Based on an 18-tonne gross vehicle weight, 320 horsepower Scania chassis, the new vehicle has bodywork by Kurt Hobbs Coachwork of Kettering with the build project overseen by Scania dealer TruckEast of Wellingborough. "TruckEast has a well-deserved reputation as a specialist appliance supplier to the fire industry and were therefore a natural choice for the project management role here," says Rory Coulter. "In terms of the Scania chassis and crew cab, our experience of the market has shown Scania to be a high quality, reliable product with a long life expectancy and low whole life costs.

The five-seat Scania crew-cab, which is of all-steel construction for maximum safety in operation, is equipped with five seats. A computer and monitor are located in front of the three rear seats allowing this area of the vehicle to be used as a mobile training room, thereby saving time as instruction can be given to trainees without the need to return to the classroom.

The truck's box body can carry eight 1,000-litre IBCs (Intermediate Bulk Containers), six of which are filled with water to simulate realistic operating conditions. At the rear, the body has standard doors with an internal securing mechanism to provide a clear area for graphics and safety messages. Currently, the vehicle is promoting the five elements of the nationwide Project Pictogram programme, for more information click here.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service is a long-standing user of Scania fire appliances. The service has a total of 31 Scania vehicles in its fleet, comprising 24 water tenders, three tankers, two aerial platforms and two training vehicles. 

In addition to Category C and EFAD training, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service's training is the first within the fire industry to be accredited by the Institute of Advanced Motorists. This enables successful trainees to gain automatic membership to the Institute. The service not only provides driver training for its employed fire fighters and on call fire fighters who express an interest in developing their driving skills but also holds a number of contracts to train drivers from other emergency services.