Nostalgia 1978: Heat is on to beat chemical inferno

editorial image

They may look like something from outer space, but these two men are all set to save lives.

For Falkirk Fire Station has just been equipped with some of the most modern fire-fighting apparatus in Britain to cope with Grangemouth’s chemical complex.

The new breathing apparatus is the most up to date in the country and is being worn here by firemen Keith Alexander and Tony Shepherd. And the fire engine in the background, which arrived in Falkirk this week, is one of the most modern in Scotland.

Station officer John Fenton said: ‘‘The new fire engine is an 11-and-a-half-ton water tender and it went into service this week.

“As well as carrying a set of the new breathing apparatus for each man, it is equipped with hydraulic rescue gear. The oxygen sets have enough air to last for an hour and have been developed on a positive pressure basis.

“This means that the pressure inside the man’s mask is greater than normal air pressure which makes it impossible for any toxic gas or chemical to get near the fireman’s skin.