MMM Fire and Rescue reaches new heights

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The Scania aerial platform ladder unit is now part of the MMM Fire and Rescue Service fleet. PHOTO: PIERCE VAN HEERDEN

The Mangaung Metro Municipality’s Fire and Rescue Service boasts an all-new Scania aerial platform ladder unit that will not only help the department save lives, but will also put it in an advanced position, using the latest technology.

Although the truck has been in operation for quite some time, it was shown to the media and the public for the first time during a festive season safety campaign last Friday. The new state-of-the-art vehicle reaches a dazzling height of 44 metres, or 14 storeys, which will enable the department to fight fires in the metro, especially in the Central Business District (CBD), which is known for its high buildings.

Divisional officer, Braam van Zyl, told Bloemfontein Courant that they had a need for a truck like this, as more people are living in the CBD than ever before. “This is a unique vehicle for a unique purpose. It is for high buildings like in the CBD, where more people are starting to move to. The new truck is not for everyday use, but for special cases and when it is used, it plays a pivotal role.”

The truck allows them to fight fires on a direct level, as well as to combat fires in lower buildings directly from the top.

A water canon in the cage allows the truck to deliver 3 200 litres per minute. The truck cage is also equipped to carry a weight of 500 kg, which equals seven adults, in case of a rescue operation being executed from high structures. It also includes a number of advanced technology features, including safety sensors and features.

Van Zyl wished all members of the community a safe festive season and urged them to switch off all power supplies and plugs that will not be in use. “If you’re going away over the festive season, make sure to leave the doors closed in your house, as this will smother a fire if it breaks out in any room.”

The truck was on show for the public on 10 December 2021 at the Safer Festive Season initiative held at the Shell Ultra City Pit Stop on the N1.

Pierce van Heerden

pierce@mahareng.co.za