West Sussex FRS blazes a trail with first UK 6x6 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Published:  25 July, 2016

Developed by German specialist Oberaigner the truck features a 7-tonne chassis combined with off-road capability.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service have also commissioned a 4x4 Sprinter, which will be supplied by local dealer Rossetts Commercials, the sole UK agent for the 6x6 variant. Both have purpose-designed bodies by WH Bence Coachworks of Bristol and are equipped with ultra-high pressure (100 bar, 38 litres/min) pumps, battery-powered hydraulic rescue gear and medical response equipment including defibrilators, as well as comprehensive communications systems. 

Based in Midhurst, the Oberaigner vehicle can deliver a crew of up to five to any incident in any weather across the county. Its 1,200-litre tank will allow crews to fight off-road heath and forest fires with water or foam for 30 minutes before needing to refill. It is also well equipped to cope when roads are compromised by severe weather such as heavy snow. The 6x6 also has a snorkel for enhanced capability in deep water. The 1.8 tonnes of spare capacity allows mission-specific loads to be transported to incidents, enabled by a rear-mounted hoist.

The 5-tonne 4x4 Sprinter will operate from Storrington. Fitted with a 400-litre tank, it has been specified to carry spill kits and swift water rescue equipment. As this vehicle may be the first to reach the scene of an accident on the A24 trunk road, the rear also has high-visibility markings to maximise operator safety.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service has been running smaller 4x4 Mercedes-Benz G-Wagens in a variety of roles since 1999 and these have impressed with their reliability and performance. Its specialist rescue and support teams also use Mercedes-Benz Vito vans, alongside a 4x4 Unimog truck.

Acting Assistant Chief Fire Officer Kieran Amos explained: ‘We wanted to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach and have more flexibility in our off-road fleet. These new 6x6 and 4x4 vehicles are not intended to be like-for-like replacements but represent a new concept for us in terms of equipment carried and operational capacity. They give us options for future mobilising which can be tailored to the specific demands of each incident.

‘Most importantly, our vehicles have to meet the needs of the firefighters who will be using them. We believe the Sprinters represent a significant improvement for our fleet and will enhance the response we can provide to communities in times of need.’

County Fleet Manager Paul Mace said: ‘The Fire & Rescue Service works closely with Sussex Police and South-East Coast Ambulance, both of which operate extensive fleets of Mercedes-Benz vans. This, coupled with comprehensive research and our own positive experience, gave us the confidence to invest in these new vehicles.

‘The Sprinter offers well proven reliability and closely matched our requirements in terms of weights, performance and economy, as well as supply chain and after sales back-up. These two, highly flexible vehicles will enable us to deliver a full range of capabilities in all terrains and all conditions, across a rural part of the county.’

  • Operation Florian

Sign up: eMagazine & eNewsletter

The latest issues in your inbox.

Company Profiles

HazSim - Bringing situational HazMat training to life

HazSim, LLC provides innovative simulation training to ensure your team works safely and effectively. HazSim Pro simulation equipment is in use by hundreds of fire departments, training schools, industrial fire teams, and private trainers across the US, Canada and further afield as well as the US Army.

Revolutionizing fire fighting foam technology

The one-stop resource for fire fighting foam concentrates and custom-designed foam suppression systems hardware.

Advancing rescue technology

The specialist supplier of quality PPE and Rescue Equipment to Emergency Services.

The ultimate in innovation, quality and service

For 60 years Lehavot has been delivering the world’s most advanced fire detection and suppression automatic systems

Trust the best, let us be your foam solution

AUXQUIMIA is a Spanish company whose main activity is the design, manufacture and commercialization of firefighting foam concentrates.

Williams Fire & Hazard Control offers a full line of specialized fire response equipment for oil and gas platforms

From storage tanks and pipeline emergencies to offshore platforms and vessels at sea, Williams' response personnel and specialized equipment quickly address adverse fire emergencies.

Foam fights fire

Europe’s foremost fire fighting foam manufacturer has been developing and producing foams since the 1920s.

The leader in truck-mounted hydraulic platforms

Our mission is to provide the best and the safest solution to professionals that work at height.

The independent alternative

Dafo Fomtec AB is a privately owned company with head office in Stockholm Sweden and manufacturing in Helsingborg in the south of Sweden.

If you want quality, you want Zico

Since its inception Ziamatic Corp has provided the men and women of the fire service with products designed to make their jobs safer and easier.

Calendar