There are six aspects of New Dimension:- Mass Decontamination, Urban Search and Rescue and Water are Operational capabilities, Command and Control, Operational Logistics and Long-term Capability Management are Enabling capabilities. The Water aspect covers, High Volume Pumping, Water Rescue and Water Safety.
The New Dimension project is funded by the Government and has provided equipment for Mass Decontamination (MDU) and Urban Search and Rescue (USAR).


This started with 80 Incident Response Units (IRUs) in England each of which has two Mass Decontamination Units capable of decontaminating 400 people an hour. The equipment was carried in standard size cages which are unloaded by a fork lift truck mounted on the rear of the appliance.
In Scotland we were provided with three IRUs which are called Major Incident Units (MIU) that carry various sized cages which are unloaded by a fork lift truck mounted on the rear of the appliance. The appliance could have either the MDU cages or USAR cages on board. Most carried MDU equipment with the USAR equipment stored in an adjacent bay and if USAR was required MDU would be unloaded and USAR loaded onto the appliance. Other Scottish Brigades were given equipment but they had to fund a vehicle to transport it to incidents.


Next came the Heavy Volume Pumping (HVP) Units. Each HVP consists of one Prime Mover (PM) and two pods. One pod has the pump which can pump up to 8000 litres/minute and a hose box containing 1 Km of 150mm hose. The other has two hose boxes each with 1Km of 150mm hose. As a result each HPV can pump water up to 3Km. Each pod also has a hose retrieval unit at the front plus locker space for equipment. The pump and hose boxes are stored side by side at the rear of the pod. When it arrives at an incident the PM drops off the pod, reverses up to the rear of the pod and picks up the pump which it takes to near the site of the water, the hydrosub (a submersible pump) is put into the water and this is connected to the pump unit by means of two hydraulic hoses which are on reels in the pump unit. The 150mm hose is also connected to the hydrosub. The PM then uplifts the pod and drives away from the pump paying out the hose. If more hose is required it collects the other pod with the 2Km of hose and runs it out.
Scotland is getting
four HVPs one of which will be based in Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service Hawick Fire station.
They will be used for moving large volumes of water from flooding or for firefighting purposes.


New USAR units as described below are being delivered to England and Wales, I don’t know if Scotland will be getting these or if we will stay with the USAR equipment already supplied with the MIUs.
Training on USAR started in 2003 with staff attending Disaster City in Texas, then training rigs were built at the Fire Service College at Moreton-in-Marsh and courses are now run here and the skills gained passed on at local level in Brigades to other firefighters.

A full USAR unit will consist of three Prime Mover vehicles, five USAR modules and a canine support unit, together with a trained search dog:

Module 1 — has been designed to support USAR operations over the first few hours of a major structural collapse incident. The extensive equipment cache provides for scene assessment, technical search, electrical generation, scene safety, lighting, safe working at height, timber cutting, concrete cutting and drilling.
Module 2 — comes with a Prime Mover and contains heavy cutting, heavy lifting, confined space and rope access equipment for use in major transport-related incidents, especially those involving rail or aircraft.
Module 3 — has been developed to support module 1 at structural collapse incidents, and includes timber support, heavy breaking and breaching tools, heavy lifting and moving equipment, access platforms and lighting.
Module 4 consists of a Prime Mover, a module which carries the logistics and servicing structure and a four-wheel drive multi-purpose vehicle, which can be used for transporting equipment to an incident site, unloading modules and moving rubble to clear sites. This module can also be used as a lorry or tipper to remove rubble from a site.
Module 5 — has a flat bed unit containing 10 tonnes of pre-cut timber for shoring and cribbing unstable structures.

Modules and Prime Movers
Each of the 184 Prime Mover vehicles provided by New Dimension can carry a range of modules — for mass decontamination, search and rescue or high volume pumping —so they can deliver the appropriate equipment to the scene of a major incident, to enable a flexible response and a safe, sustainable system of work.
20 full USAR units will be delivered over the next year to 17 fire and rescue services across the country, replacing the 19 interim USAR units, which have already been delivered to strategic locations across England and Wales.
November 2005.

The Fire and Rescue Service National Co-ordination Centre monitors the operational status of the IRUs and deploys them to incidents.


Scottish Fire and Rescue Service: New Dimension Programme

Over the last six years the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) has developed a distinctive New Dimension programme to reflect Scotland’s contribution to UK resilience. Responsibility for Civil Contingencies rests with Westminster whilst responsibility for fire and rescue services is devolved to the Scottish Parliament; this has influenced the approach taken in Scotland to secure the resilience of its services.
In 2001 an early decision was taken to utilise the New Dimension (ND) programme in Scotland to enhance day to day service capability and capacity; in addition to securing new functions and services (USAR, DIM etc).
In partnership with the Scottish Executive and Scottish Fire Services Inspectorate, CFOA(S) has developed a comprehensive Service Support and Delivery Capability programme which embraces CBRN and civil protection (severe weather specialist provisions etc) challenges. The ND programme is embedded within Scotland’s multi agency emergency management arrangements which are delivered and coordinated within a national Scottish Emergency Co-ordination Committee (SECC) and local Strategic Co-ordination Group (SCG) structure. Each of the eight SCGs benefits from having geographically coterminous police and fire services.
Scotland’s eight fire services have taken a collaborative approach towards discharging the new duties and roles set out within the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 and Additional Function Order 2005. Accordingly, each service has adopted a common template within their respective Integrated Risk Management plans, defining how these collective provisions are discharged through a Mutual Assistance Protocol.
In parallel with the National Co-ordination Centre (NCC), Scotland has established a Scottish Co-ordination Centre (SCC) arrangement managed by Strathclyde FRS. In the event of major disruptive challenge, Scotland will utilise a strategic logistical support team to assist with resourcing logistics, asset tracking and cost recovery requirements, to complement SCC and NCC operations. It is important to note that the SCC will support a range of specialist services and functions, in addition to CBRN capabilities as follows:

•               Urban Search and Rescue:-                                Five Major Rescue Units, five USAR Pod units
•               Mass Decontamination:-                                    Eight MD4 units
•               Detection, Identification and Monitoring:-      Four units
•               High Volume Pumps:-                                          Four units
•               Environmental Protection:-               
                  Eight POD units
•               Working at Height:-                                             Three specialist teams
•               Flood Support:-                                                    Ten Level 2 water rescue boat units
•               Wildfire:-                                                               Work in progress.

Work on the Support and Delivery Capabilities programme will continue into 2007/08 and beyond with specific attention being given to the following areas:

•               Enhanced command arrangements
•               Logistical support arrangements
•               Wildfire support arrangements
•               Specialist water rescue
•               National training, testing and exercising programme.

The ND Programme will continue to seek to influence and be influenced by multi-agency arrangements (SECC and Police Model Response Options work programmes) and UK Fire and Rescue Service arrangements (National Command and Control Coordinating Group), to ensure the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service makes its full contribution to UK resilience.
(CFOA Comment, FIRE magazine, June 2007 page 63.)



Urban Search and Rescue
5 Major Incident Units
10 USAR Pods (H&IF&RS, SF&R x2, D&GF&RS, L&BF&RS, CSF&RS, FF&RS, TF&R x2, GF&RS)

9 Prime Movers (H&IF&RS, SF&R, D&GF&RS, L&BF&RS, CSF&RS, FF&RS, TF&R x2, GF&RS)

Scottish MIUs (SF&R x3,L&BF&RS, GF&RS)

Mass Decontamination
4 Major Decontamination Units and 5 Pod Units (H&IF&RS, SF&R x2, D&GF&RS, L&BF&RS, CSF&RS, FF&RS, TF&R, GF&RS)

Detection Identification Monitoring (DIM)
4 Units (SF&R, L&BF&RS, TF&R, GF&RS)

High Volume Pumps
4 Units (SF&R, L&BF&RS, CSF&RS, GF&RS)

Environmental Protection

Water Rescue
Strathclyde Partnership, 7 Boat Units, Marine Coastguard Agency.

Rescue from height
3 Teams, Scottish Power Partnership.