Fire crews fear new engines are dangerous

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firefighters are calling for an inquiry into the purchase of four specialist fire engines at a cost of £2 million, claiming they are unsafe and putting lives at risk.

The Combined Aerial Rescue Pumps, which had £700,000 spent on them before they could be used in South Yorkshire when checks found them too heavy for the UK’s roads, are said to have been plagued by mechanical faults since they were brought into use in May.

The Fire Brigades Union, which represents firefighters, says one CARP ‘caught fire’ while it was at the scene of a blaze in Barnsley and it claims there have been two other incidents where appliances started smoking after developing faults.

FBU spokesman John Gilliver said the CARPS are unfit for purpose and risking lives.

“They have continually been off the run since they were brought in and on top of them catching fire two firefighters had to be rescued from one of them recently when the cage they were in tackling a fire from a height got stuck,” he added.

A South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue spokesman said: “We have experienced a number of operational issues with our CARP appliances since they first became available.

“We are currently investigating three incidents which occurred in the past week.

“Like the FBU, we are concerned about these issues and are working tirelessly to address them to keep the CARPs available as often as possible.”