Fire appliance still off the road

A STATE-of-the-art fire engine which helped Suffolk Fire Service win a prestigious environmental award is still not ready to use - six months after its planned launch date.

A STATE-of-the-art fire engine which helped Suffolk Fire Service win a prestigious environmental award is still not ready to use - six months after its planned launch date.

Fire chiefs say the £500,000 combined aerial rescue pump (Carp) - combining a fire engine and turntable ladder in one vehicle - is currently too heavy.

So it has emerged the vehicle has now been sent back to the manufacturer for alterations before it can finally take to the road.

It is an unfortunate blow for Suffolk fire service, which won a top prize at last year's National Energy Efficiency Awards off the back of plans to introduce the new engine, which was heralded it for its environmental and financial benefits.

Suffolk was also due to be the first brigade in the UK to introduce the vehicle.

But problems emerged when it first received the Carp at the beginning of July, and they have still not been resolved.

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Assistant Chief Fire Officer Mark Sanderson said: “We are continuing to work together with the supplier to make sure that the work on the vehicle is carried out in line with our plans, and we hope that all the problems can be rectified as quickly as possible.”