The modernisation and transformation of Defence Fire and Rescue’s firefighting fleet has been completed with the delivery of the last of 138 new vehicles.

The new fleet has been rolled out across the Defence estate as a key part of the £90 million transformation programme jointly delivered by MOD and Capita to provide the Defence with an efficient, effective and highly responsive fire and rescue capability under the 12-year Defence Fire and Rescue Project (DFRP) contract.

138 new state-of-the-art vehicles were procured to replace an ageing fleet across MOD fire stations, coupled with an additional 10 refurbished vehicles.

The investment provides a modern, environmentally-friendly level of capability and creates a safer operating environment.

The completion of this transformation was marked with by the 138th vehicle being signed off for use at RAF Wittering.

The fleet modernisation began in March 2021 with the delivery of the first vehicle and over the course of the project has seen the provision of vehicles across Defence fire stations, resulting in a number of key benefits. These include cleaner engines, with substantially lower emissions – across the fleet, a 77% reduction in fuel consumption, a 93% reduction in smoke emissions and a 72% reduction in CO2 emissions.

The new fleet has also significantly improved the safety of firefighters. In total 33 Oshkosh Strikers and 83 British built Multi-Purpose Response Vehicles (MPRVs) give firefighters the capability of fighting fires from within the cab of the appliance.

The vehicle transformation is a key component of the contract delivered by Capita Fire and Rescue (CFR) and contributes to the provision of an efficient and effective fire and rescue service to Defence. Through embracing innovation and technology, Defence and CFR have actively enhanced firefighter safety and provided vehicles which better protect Defence activities and assets.

Sim Nex, MOD CFO said: “Through effective collaboration between DFR, CFR, stakeholders across Defence and Industry, this considerable vehicle fleet modernisation programme has been delivered despite significant challenges posed during the three-year implementation period.

“The new fleet supports a safer environment for Firefighters and MOD personnel within the UK, overseas and in support of Defence operations worldwide.

“The fleet has also contributed significantly to an improved environmental footprint for fire and rescue provision. DFR and CFR remain committed on delivering continued improvements in safety and in protecting the environment moving forward. My sincere thanks go to all stakeholders who have supported this significant achievement.”

Dominik Wellmann, MD of Capita Fire and Rescue, said: “The modernisation of the vehicle fleet has been a key part of the Defence Fire and Rescue Project and it is testament to the dedication of colleagues working with colleagues in Defence that this has been completed.

“Firefighters are benefitting from cleaner, safer and more responsive vehicles which, in turn, are ensuring the delivery of vital fire and rescue response services to military airfields and other sites across the UK, Cyprus and the Falklands.”

The 12-year DFRP contract has also seen 500 MOD firefighters transferred to Capita, transformation in firefighter training, with the relocation of training to the Fire Service College in Moreton in Marsh, as well as the introduction of bespoke ICT systems, making it easier to record and monitor key data across fire stations.

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