Probe launched after North firefighter injured on new engine

A firefighter in the North suffered a serious back injury using a new type of fire engine, it was confirmed today.

A firefighter in the North suffered a serious back injury using a new type of fire engine, it was confirmed today.

A total of four aerial platforms on the £360,000 (€399,000) appliances have been removed and the manufacturer called in after the machine jolted and caused the damage.

The victim was working on it in Derry on Sunday night.

A Fire Service spokeswoman said: “Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) has temporarily removed its four Vema fire appliances from operation, while a technical problem is being investigated.

“NIFRS will not compromise the health and safety of its firefighters and this decision was taken as a precaution, whilst an investigation is ongoing.”

She said this should be a short-term measure.

“NIFRS can reassure the public that its own emergency response capabilities are not affected as through contingency planning other types of specialist aerial appliances are currently in operation providing emergency cover.

“As part of its contingency planning NIFRS can move its fire appliances around to ensure emergency response times are met in all areas.”

Fire Brigades’ Union regional secretary Jim Quinn said the victim suffered a vertebrae injury to his back.

“We are fairly happy with what has happened so far in the investigation,” he said.

He added the manufacturers were due to arrive in the North today to probe the problem.

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