A Multistar at saving water

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WHEN you need to practise pumping 4,000 litres of water a minute in a drought, the only thing to do is recycle.

That is what reader John Goldsmith saw Bury St Edmunds’ fire crews doing when he took this picture in Ram Meadow car park on Sunday as they pumped water out of the River Lark and sprayed it back in.

Fire service District Commander Pat Dacey said: “We’re not training using hydrants because they run off the mains, so with the water shortage we don’t want to use that.”

The crews are training on their advanced new Multistar hydraulic aerial ladder platform, which is very different technology to the 21-year-old turntable ladder they are used to.

It can be controlled remotely from ground level or from its cradle, which rises 30 metres and can carry a stretcher. Unlike the turntable, it can pump its own water but here another appliance was being used to pump, to avoid the risk of damaging the car park surface with the laden Multistar’s steadying jacks.

DC Dacey said: “At a fire we wouldn’t worry, but not training.”

The Multistar has been delayed due to axle problems and being on close to maximum weight, but it should enter service in April.