Home>Fire>Fire and Rescue >Mayor welcomes fire boats on Thames as part of Brigade “transformation”

Mayor welcomes fire boats on Thames as part of Brigade “transformation”

05 September 2022

SADIQ KHAN, the Mayor of London, has welcomed the London Fire Brigade’s new fire boats to the Thames as part of a £40 million investment made by City Hall aimed at expanding the Brigade’s fleet of equipment and vehicles.

The new boats are named after Auxiliary Fireman Harry Errington and Auxiliary Firewoman Gillian Tanner. In the Second World War, both were awarded medals for bravery.

The Mayor of London has committed to modernising and transforming the Brigade’s rescue resources – which includes investing in Europe’s first 64-metre ladders, new 32-metre ladders and two new replacement fire boats – such that the Brigade is better prepared, organised and equipped to fight fires and save lives anywhere in London.

Recently, Khan met crew members from Lambeth River Station and was shown some of the high-tech equipment on board the vessels. The new boats are twice as fast as the two previous vessels and can reach speeds of forty knots. They can carry more life-saving equipment than ever before.

In addition to hoses that allow crew members to fight fires from the River Thames, the boats are fitted with an hydraulic crane for carrying out rescues from the water as well as a high-definition thermal imaging camera.

The Mayor was also shown a range of some of the Brigade’s latest equipment, including those new turntable ladders, the new fire rescue unit and a Heavy Demountable Unit capable of transporting large quantities of foam to extinguish large-scale fires.

Changing community needs

London Fire Commissioner Andy Roe commented: “The Brigade is transforming for London. Our brand new fire boats are the latest improvements to the equipment we’re rolling out. An investment of around £40 million on our fleet over the last few years is part of a commitment to do all we can to meet the changing needs of our communities and keep Londoners safe long into the future. The fire boats are a fantastic new addition to the fleet.”

Sadiq Khan responded: “I’m delighted to see first-hand the new state-of-the-art fire boats, which are part of the London Fire Brigade’s expanding fleet of specialist vehicles and high-tech equipment. They will be used to help keep Londoners safe. The £40 million investment I’ve made as Mayor over the past three years is part of my commitment to modernise and transform the Brigade so that it’s better prepared, organised and equipped to fight fires and keep all Londoners safe.”

Khan concluded: “The demands made on the London Fire Brigade have never been higher due to the extreme temperatures and terrible flash floods we’ve seen as a result of climate change. That’s why I’m committed to doing everything I can to ensure our front line Emergency Services have the right resources, policies and equipment to serve all of London’s communities.”

Significant upgrade

Dr Fiona Twycross, Deputy Mayor for Fire and Resilience, observed: “I welcome the significant upgrading of vital rescue vehicles, appliances and equipment for the Brigade, which will help to save more lives. The new fire boats are a brilliant addition to safety on the Thames and mean that the Brigade can tackle incidents of all kinds with dedicated teams on the water and on land, providing vital information for the Control Room and Emergency Services partners to co-ordinate rescues.”

Twycross added: “Since the Grenfell Tower tragedy, our Fire and Rescue Service has transformed the way in which it responds to incidents, and especially so fires in high-rise buildings across the capital. It’s so important that we ensure this progress continues at pace so we can deliver the very best fire service for London.”

The call signs for the new boats are H23A and H23B, a reference to Adam Mere and Billy Faust, two London firefighters who died fighting a fire in the capital back in 2004.