Watford Mayor Peter Taylor has welcomed new plans that would mean Watford Fire Station would keep two traditional fire engines, while trialling a ‘rapid response vehicle’.

Under the initial proposal, Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service – which is part of the county council – intended to replace one of the two fire engines at the Watford station during a trial of a new ‘rapid response vehicle’.

But following consultation on the plan – which is contained in the service’s ‘integrated risk management plan' – they propose to run the trial alongside the existing provision.

That has been welcomed by Elected Mayor Peter Taylor, who acknowledges there were concerns about the loss of a fire engine during the proposed trial.

“This is good news for our town,” said Mr Taylor. 

“Whenever I meet our local fire service I’m always struck by their hard work, dedication and the amount they sacrifice to keep us all safe.

“However, they need the right equipment so they can do their jobs effectively and keep people in our town safe.

“Despite cuts in their funding from central government, I’m glad that the decision has been reached to trial new equipment in Watford without removing what they are using already.

“This will help them provide an even better service to residents and keep us all safe.

“I’m glad Liberal Democrat councillors’ concerns about this have been listened to.”

According to the county’s fire chiefs, the proposed ‘rapid response vehicle’ will be equipped to deal with 80 per cent of calls – with the added ability to navigate their way around smaller streets more quickly.

And they say it will help them create a faster and more effective mixed fleet.

The revision to the proposal was revealed at a meeting of the county council’s community safety and waste management cabinet panel on Friday (June 28).

But the IRMP will still need the backing of the county council’s cabinet before any changes or trials can be implemented.