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Firefighters unveil cutting-edge wall piercing fire extinguisher

GREATER Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) has unveiled a cutting-edge extinguisher that pierces through walls and doors to tackle fires like never before.

The Service is the first UK metropolitan fire and rescue service to have its fire engines fitted with this state-of-the-art equipment, which sprays water into building fires from outside.

Working with Manchester City Council, GMFRS will carry out a series of controlled live burns inside a number of derelict flats in Manchester as part of a firefighter training exercise to demonstrate the tool – starting from Wednesday, January 7, 2015.

The new Ultra High Pressure Lance is just one of the innovative pieces of equipment being introduced at GMFRS as part of a huge project which looks into the future of firefighting.

Chair of the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor David Acton, said: “This is an extremely exciting project and fire and rescue services across the UK are looking at GMFRS with great interest as we put the lance into action alongside a range of other innovative firefighting methods.

“Over the next few months, all our frontline fire engines will be fitted with the lance, which will provide a much safer environment for firefighters and limit the water damage often caused by traditional techniques.”

The technology, from Sweden, uses a combination of water and cutting agent which is ejected through a special nozzle at extremely high pressure.

It rapidly cuts through materials including wood, metal and even stone cavity walls to deposit water onto building fires.

This can reduce the temperature inside from up to 700 degrees to around 85 degrees in a matter of seconds compared with traditional firefighting techniques which can expose firefighters to extreme heat for up to 20 minutes to deal with similar types of incidents.

New, bigger hose reels – which produce three times the amount of water than the current ones – are also being introduced along with new thermal imaging scanners and improved fans that have been in use for a number of months now to make firefighting more effective.

Later in the year, GMFRS will be introducing a brighter, layered fire kit produced by Bristol Uniforms Limited.

It is much brighter than GMFRS has had before because it’s designed for use on roadways, especially at road traffic collisions.

Area Manager Tony Hunter, who’s leading the project, said: “The flats will be fitted with furniture to simulate real homes and the scenarios are those that firefighters often face, including a chip pan fire, living room fire and an attic fire.

“Using the lance in conjunction with new thermal imaging scanners and tactical ventilation fans will dramatically improve the internal environment for firefighters and anyone trapped inside.

“Hundreds of firefighters have been trained to use the new equipment and are now ready to deploy it at live incidents.”

Last update: 23/03/2016 08:19:30
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