Nine new fire engines are set to be ready for use by the end of 2023, following Suffolk County Council allocating over £5.3m in its 2023/24 budget to replace some of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service’s current vehicle fleet with state-of-the-art alternatives.
To help celebrate the service’s 75th anniversary this year, Suffolk residents are invited to play an important part in shaping its future by naming the new engines in a competition due to officially launch at the Suffolk Show next week, on 31 May and 1 June.
Entry forms will be available at Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service’s stand within the Emergency Services Zone of the event held at Trinity Park, Ipswich, and people can also enter online by visiting the service’s Twitter and Facebook pages.
After the competition closes on Friday, June 30, a judging panel consisting of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service’s senior fire staff and Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Public Protection, Councillor Andrew Reid, will decide on the winning names.
Jon Lacey, Chief Fire Officer for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said:
“It is fantastic news that our service will receive nine replacement fire engines by the end of the year, providing our staff with the best tools possible to help them be swift to serve and ensure that Suffolk remains a safe and healthy place to live.
“I would encourage everyone to visit our stand at the Suffolk Show, where they can take part in our ‘Name the Fire Engine’ competition and enjoy a wide range of free fun activities, including our fire bikes, animal rescue demonstrations and fire experience unit.”
Councillor Andrew Reid, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Public Protection, added:
“I am delighted that Suffolk County Council has committed to investing over £5.3 million in our fire service, supporting our continued ambition to look after the health and wellbeing of our county’s residents.
“Their new vehicle fleet will also come with a host of cutting-edge technology and environmental benefits; as we work towards becoming a Net Zero authority by 2030.”
An official naming ceremony will take place at Ipswich East Fire Station next spring, allowing competition winners to see their suggested name on one of the new fire engines before these are used across Suffolk in response to fires, road traffic accidents and other emergency incidents.
Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service donated two of its former fire engines to Ukraine in March 2022 to help their counterparts in the war-torn country, with six staff from the service travelling over 1,000 miles across Europe to deliver the vehicles, which remain in service in Ukraine.
A decommissioned fire engine was also given to Ipswich Transport Museum last year to support their efforts to preserve local history for future generations to enjoy.