Rare fire engine saved from scrap heap

Published:  16 November, 2009

A unique fire engine specially made to tackle radioactive metal fires at Dounreay has been saved from the scrap heap, thanks to a group of local vehicle enthusiasts.

Dounreay’s heritage officer James Gunn contacted the local Caithness & Sutherland vintage vehicle club to see whether they were interested in acquiring a piece of Dounreay’s history.

The fire engine, known as a graphex tender, is one of only two in existence. They were designed and built to Dounreay’s specifications, to fight liquid metal coolant fires in the site’s two experimental reactors. Each vehicle carried one tonne of graphex powder, a graphite-based fire fighting agent.

With the bulk of the coolant in the prototype reactor destroyed and work now underway to destroy the coolant in the Dounreay fast reactor, the need for the bespoke fire engines has diminished.

Dounreay’s fire chief Kenny Porteous says that this is an ideal time to withdraw the tenders from service. “The tenders gave us the reassurance that we could deal with a large scale metal fire if one broke out,” he said. “However, they have now reached the end of their operational lives and can be retired to a new home.”

Edward Sutherland, the club’s chairman, is delighted with their new acquisition. “Caithness & Sutherland Vintage Vehicle Club would like to thank the management at Dounreay for the thoughtful donation of the fire engine to our club,” he said. “It is the intention of the Club to do any restoration required to present the vehicle in show condition at our annual rally and at other suitable venues. There is no doubt that such a rare exhibit will create added interest.“The club has about 70 members who between them have a varied selection of vehicles and stationary engines. The fire engine will be a welcome addition to our exhibits."

  • 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