New recruit equipped with state-of-the-art technology

Assistant chief fire officer Mark McCarty with the Incident Support Unit.
Assistant chief fire officer Mark McCarty with the Incident Support Unit.

A new custom built vehicle will be a valuable tool for the Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS).

The 4x4 Mercedes-Benz Incident Support Unit (ISU) will be used to co-ordinate major incidents and it includes the latest in modern technology.

This long-bodied V6 engine van, which has a five-litre engine, is a key component of the service’s strategy for managing incidents safely and effectively.

It has been specially converted for ‘command and control’ operations and it is fitted with cutting edge communications equipment that can be used by up to five personnel.

Assistant chief fire officer Mark McCarty said: “This custom built vehicle will allow us to deliver our services in a more co-ordinated and professional manner and mean we are better able to protect our communities at a time of increased risk from floods and other natural events.

“This is a real ‘go-anywhere’ vehicle, which means we can operate anywhere across a county that includes some very challenging terrain.”

The vehicle includes a roof-mounted foldable satellite dish and camera mounted on a retractable six-metre mast – giving a birds-eye view of an incident.

The technology can be linked to rapid deployable and body cameras worn by firefighters.

NFRS technical officer Steve Kennedy added: “The communications systems on the vehicle will allow us to pass messages and stream live, real time images and data back to HQ from wherever we are in the county.”