A new state-of-the-art support fire fighting vehicle, especially designed for working at great height, was unveiled yesterday in Plaza Cort.

Catalina Cirer, the Mayor of Palma, presented the vehicle as an addition to the city's Fire Brigade Services.

The unit incorporates the latest technology. A platform with a revolutionary telescopic arm will help the brigade cope with fire extinguishing, rescues and demolition. The City Hall has spent 1'066'000 euros on the new engine which has been acquired under a leasing formula. The owning company pays maintenance costs for the next ten years. As well as this star performer, the City Hall has also acquired two fire engines and other specialized equipment that the Municipal Fire Service depends upon. The platform with its telescopic arm can operate at a maximum working height of 32 metres, equivalent to being ten storeys up from the ground. The top pay load it can support in its basket is 325 kilos. Furthermore, it has the capability of discharging 2'275 litres of water and foam per minute. Cirer proudly talked about the new addition to the Fire Station as being in the “forefront of technology”. The platform and arm had been built in Germany and mounted on a chassis especially manufactured in Sweden. The Mayor confirmed it was the only vehicle of its kind on call in the Balearics. Not only was it able to reach great height but enjoyed surprising mobilility, of pivotal importance in high-level rescue. Another advanced feature was the installation of a microprocessor for the detection of obstacles that might cause collision. This facility in turn reduced the danger for the platform operator working from the basket.

Catalina Cirer explained that the vehicle had arrived in Palma accompanied by various technicians, who would spend some days in the city to liaise with fire chiefs on vehicle operation training. She emphasized that although the unit had been acquired by the City Hall for the Fire Service, “those who benefit at the end of the day are our citizens. We are here to make sure people get what is in their interests.” The Mayor was of the opinion that an “important” investment had been made in this vehicle as it would help to guarantee improved personal safety during an emergency. “With this vehicle”, she continued “up-to-the-minute technology can provide first class support to our firemen.”