GARELOCHHEAD’S firefighters have welcomed a brand new state-of-the-art vehicle as part of upgrades to the service across Argyll and Bute.

The new rapid response unit (RRU), worth £195,000, will be stationed in the village and is the latest technological advance in the force’s modernisation.

The new vehicle features an ultra-high pressure lance system that allows firefighters to attack a blaze from outside a building, a positive pressure ventilation fan to allow faster access into a burning property and a thermal image camera.

The bespoke appliances can carry up to four firefighters, are more agile than their traditional counterparts, and have been designed to meet the needs of Scotland’s most rural areas.

Paul Devlin, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s local senior officer for Argyll and Bute, said: “This technology is fast, efficient and proven. With it our crews can begin firefighting within seconds of arrival by cutting straight to the heart of the flames.

“Combined with this new state-of-the-art appliance, our retained and volunteer firefighters will be able to respond quickly and decisively to keep saving lives in Argyll and Bute.”

Members of Argyll and Bute’s community services committee were given a walk round of the unit and shown the equipment on board.

Councillor Anne Horn said: “Firefighting – fire safety – is changing. New, improved technology is continuing to be developed and this is another step along that road.”

“This is a brand new appliance and the kit on it is excellent. It gives firefighters a lot of flexibility and it can only enhance fire safety in Argyll and Bute.”