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Avon Fire and Rescue Service

Avon Fire and Rescue Service
Operational area
Country  England
Region Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire
Agency overview
Established 1974 (1974)
Employees 930
Chief Fire Officer Kevin Pearson
Facilities and equipment
Stations 21
Official website

Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) is the fire and rescue service covering the unitary authorities of Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire in South West England.


  • History 1
  • Community Safety 2
  • Operations 3
  • Fire Stations/Appliances 4
  • Fire Appliance Glossary/Callsigns 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Avon Fire Brigade was created in 1974, when Avon county was created. In 1996, the county was abolished and four separate unitary authorities were created. Administration of the service was taken over by a joint fire authority made up of councillors from the four unitary authorities. In 2004, the Fire And Rescue Services Act was passed. To better reflect the changing roles and responsibilities of the fire service, Avon Fire Brigade changed its name to Avon Fire & Rescue Service.[1]

Community Safety

The role of a modern fire and rescue service has increased from fighting fires to cover the core functions of 'Protecting, Preventing and Responding'. Avon Fire & Rescue Service now has a wider remit promoting community safety through events and education work, alongside attending a range of incidents and emergencies from road traffic collisions and fires, to flooding and chemical spills. The fire service aims to cut the risk of fire developing in the first place by promoting safety messages to local residents and encouraging people to have working smoke alarms.[2]

Avon Fire & Rescue Service runs community safety campaigns. The summer 2009 campaign, 'Be BBQ Safe', included a hard hitting interview with a BBQ fire burns victim who spent the previous summer in intensive care after using nitro to light his BBQ.

The Car Clear scheme was launched in 2001, with the intention of promptly removing abandoned vehicles from streets. This eliminates the possibility of arson attacks.[3][4]


Avon Fire and Rescue Service badge

Avon Fire & Rescue Service has a fleet of 79 appliances including 49 Pumping Appliances [16 Water Tender Ladders, 16 Water Tenders, 11 reserve Pumps, four Rescue Pumps and two Combined Aerial Rescue Pumps], eight New Dimension appliances [six Prime Movers, one Detection Identification Monitoring Van and one Incident Response Unit], three Turntable Ladders [with a fourth on order], two Rescue Tenders [one reserve], and 16 other Special appliances. 28 Trailers, Boats, Pods and Fork Lift Trucks are used operationally. Avon Fire & Rescue Service also utilise a fleet of ancillary vehicles. These include 42 cars, 18 vans, five 4x4s, four MPVs, three PCVs, one Control Emergency Evacuation Vehicle and one Fire & Emergency Support Service vehicle. 19 Trailers are also used non-operationally.

As part of the now-defunct FiReControl project, Avon Fire & Rescue's control room was intended switch over to the regional control centre in Taunton. Originally scheduled to take place in May 2010, the cutover date was revised to November 2011,[5] before the plan was formally scrapped in December 2010.[6]

On 1 January 2009, Yate Fire Station was upgraded to wholetime / retained status meaning that firefighters are ready to respond to calls 24/7. Previously, the station was day crewed / retained, which meant that the station was only crewed from 0800–1700. Outside this time, firefighters responded to the station from their homes or work places.

In 2009, Avon took delivery of the first Polybilt bodied Combined Aerial Rescue Platform (CARP). It was allocated to Patchway fire station [7] but has since moved to Speedwell fire station.[8] A second Combined Aerial Rescue Pump is now with Avon at Bedminster fire station and went into service in February 2011.

On 6 May 2014, Kingswood Fire Station was closed to allow for a station refurbishment. It is due to be completed towards the end of 2014, when Speedwell Fire Station will close and all crew will move back to Kingswood. [9]

On 10 February 2015, Kingswood Fire Station reopened, and Speedwell Fire Station was closed. [10]

On 1 November 2015, Keynsham Fire Station will close as part of the Investing for the Future programme. A new station is due to open in Spring 2016, at Hicks Gate.

Fire Stations/Appliances

Station Callsign Station Name Duty System Appliances
A02 Thornbury Retained 1x WrL, 1x WrT
A03 Yate Wholetime/Retained 1x WrL, 1x WrT, 1x PM+SFoU
A04 Patchway Wholetime 1x WrL, 1x DIM
A05 Avonmouth Wholetime 1x RP, 1x WrT, 1x RT, 1x RailRU, 1x WelU
A06 Southmead Wholetime 1x WrL, 1x L4V+HLTr
A07 Portishead Retained 1x WrL, 1x WrT
A08 Pill Retained 1x WrT
A09 Temple Wholetime 1x RP, 1x WrT, 1x TL, 1x LiRU, 1x BASU
A10 Kingswood Wholetime 1x WrL, 1x WrT, 1x CSU, 1x CU
A12 Bath Wholetime/Retained 1x RP, 1x WrL, 1x WrT, 1x TL, 1x AWrRU, 1x WrSU+IRB
A14 Brislington Wholetime 1x WrL, 1x ERU, 1x PM+SFoU+MSU
A15 Bedminster Wholetime 1x WrL, 1x CARP, 1x AWRrU, 1x SWrR+IRB+RB+ARRSTr
A16 Nailsea Retained 1x WrL, 1x WrT
A16 Urban Search & Rescue Day Crewing/Retained 5x PM, 4x USAR pods, 1x HLU pod, 1x HVPU pod, 1x HVPUA pod, 1x SFoU pod 1x PCV, 1x MPV
A17 Clevedon Retained 1x WrL, 1x WrT
A18 Weston-Super-Mare Wholetime/Retained 1x RP, 1x WrL, 1x WrT, 1x TL, 1x ATRU+Hcft, 1x IRU, 1x PM+MDD+USAR
A19 Yatton Retained 1x WrL
A20 Chew Magna Retained 1x WrT
A21 Radstock Retained 1x WrL
A22 Paulton Retained 1x WrT
A23 Blagdon Retained 1x WrL
A24 Winscombe Retained 1x WrT

Fire Appliance Glossary/Callsigns


  • Turntable Ladder (TL): A2
  • Water Safety Unit (WrSU): B1
  • Swift Water Rescue (SWrR): B1
  • All Terrain Rescue Unit (ATRU): B2
  • Command Support Unit (CSU): C1
  • Command Unit (CU): C2
  • Environmental Response Unit (ERU): H1
  • Detection, Identification & Monitoring Van (DIM): H8
  • Incident Response Unit (IRU): H9
  • Water Tender Ladder (WrL): P1 & P2
  • Rescue Pump (RP): P3
  • Water Tender (WrT): P4
  • Combined Aerial Rescue Pump (CARP): P6
  • Rescue Tender (RT): R1
  • Animal & Water Rescue Unit (AWrRU): R3
  • Line Rescue Unit (LiRU): R5
  • Welfare Unit (WelU): S0
  • Breathing Apparatus Support Unit (BASU): S1
  • Rail Rescue Unit (RailRU): S4
  • Prime Mover + Specialist Foam Unit/Major Salvage Unit Pod (PM+SFoU+MSU): S4
  • Prime Mover (PM): T1, T2, T4, T5, T6
  • Personnel Carrying Vehicle (PCV): T7
  • Multi Purpose Vehicle (MPV): T8
  • Light Four-Wheeled-Drive Vehicle + Hose Layer Trailer (L4V+HLTr): W2
  • Fire & Emergency Support Service (FESS): RX1


  • Mass Decontamination Disrobe (MDD): N591
  • USAR Module 1: N791
  • USAR Module 2: N762
  • USAR Module 3: N773
  • USAR Module 4: N764
  • USAR Module 5: N755
  • High Volume Pumping Unit (HVPU): N981
  • Hose Laying Pod (HLU): N991

See also


  1. ^ "History". Avon Fire & Rescue Service. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Car removal plan beats torchings". BBC News. 17 September 2002. Retrieved 23 January 2012. [...] in 2001 Avon Fire Brigade embarked upon its Car Clear scheme to remove abandoned vehicles from Bristol's streets as soon as possible. 
  4. ^ "Press Release – Car Clear saves Avon taxpayers over £6.5m". Avon Fire and Rescue Service. 6 June 2007. Retrieved 23 January 2012. Martin Glanvill, Arson Task Force manager, said: "Car Clear has been a huge success over the last six years and during this time we have seen a big reduction in the number of vehicle fires. [...]" 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Control room scrapping 'will help Devon and Somerset". BBC News. 20 December 2010. Retrieved 21 December 2010. 
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^

External links

  • Official website

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