Fire chiefs draft in Mercedes-Benz Atego for major incidents27 August 2010

Experts who advise Scottish firefighters at the scenes of major contaminations have a new mobile base, in the shape of a special Mercedes-Benz truck.

The 15-tonne Atego 1524 Environmental Protection Unit was delivered to Strathclyde Fire & Rescue Service by Bellshill dealer Western Commercial, and was purpose-designed to assist at CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear) incidents.

Its bespoke body was built by Cebotec of Falkirk, and splits into two compartments. One is a laboratory equipped with an array of instruments and computers; the other serves as a command and communications centre. Both have internal and external CCTV cameras.

Robert Brown, technical support & logistics manager for the Strathclyde Service, explains: "We employ a team of scientists who support fire crews attending chemical and environmental incidents, and this vehicle allows them to carry out their vital work at the scene."

And he adds: "As a 15-tonner, our new Atego is lighter and more manoeuvrable than the 18-tonne truck it has replaced. It was also less expensive and will be more economical to run than another 18-tonner, while the fact that it has a smaller footprint means it is kinder to the environment too."

Strathclyde Fire Service also runs several other Mercedes-Benz vehicles, including another two 15-tonne Ategos, used as community fire safety units, and some specialised 7.5-tonne Vario light fire tenders.

Brian Tinham

Related Companies
Cebotec Ltd
Mercedes-Benz UK Ltd
Western Commercial

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