07 October 2014

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service is introducing a second high-tech Cobra Intervention Vehicle to enhance the way it responds to emergency calls.

The Cobra Intervention Vehicle will be based at Corby fire station.

In addition to current methods of firefighting, it boasts the latest technology to enable firefighters to tackle a blaze without having to enter the building or the area where the fire is located by using water to cut through brick walls, concrete or steel.

Why is another Cobra vehicle being introduced?

The introduction of the Cobra response vehicle as an alternative to one of the two traditional fire appliances currently in operation is part of a review of the way the county’s fire and rescue service is equipped to deal with the current volume and type of emergency calls while delivering value for money.

Cllr André González de Savage, county council cabinet member for strategic infrastructure, economic growth and public protection, said: “It is vital to ensure that the service is able to maximise the use of the resources available to deliver an effective and efficient response, tailored to meet the needs of the community and maintain safe systems of work for our staff.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to take advantage of the latest technology in firefighting techniques to create a fire and rescue service that is well prepared to deal with the challenge facing us today.”

Why is Cobra being introduced in Corby?

Chief fire officer Martyn Emberson said: “Corby is the only fire station in the county that has two traditional whole-time crews and as the demand is changing, we need to modernise and adapt our working practices to meet that demand.

“The introduction of the Cobra Intervention Vehicle offers a new way for us to respond to emergency calls and enhance the flexibility of the response within Corby and the north of the county, while facilitating a small reduction in whole-time staffing levels to assist in meeting our financial challenges.”

A traditional fire appliance requires a crew of at least four firefighters, while the Cobra vehicle can be despatched with two crew members. The brigade’s first Cobra Intervention Vehicle was introduced at Daventry fire station in 2010.

This is one of several key actions outlined in the annual review of Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Community Action Plan, which was discussed at today’s (Tuesday) county council cabinet meeting.

Other action points include a new duty system for senior fire officers, a future review of fire station locations and greater collaboration with other emergency services.