Strathclyde Fire Brigade will have three Major Incident Units, one of which will be funded by The Scottish Executive. The first one is the old Heavy Rescue Unit which has been converted and is based at Clydebank. When the one funded by the Scottish Executive is ready the old HRV will go to Kilmarnock to replace the Foam Salvage Tender, and when the 2nd one arrives the old HRV will go to Bellshill until the third one arrives.

The MIU at Clydebank will run with the Mass Decontamination Unit loaded and the one at Kilmarnock will run with the Urban Search & Rescue Units loaded for six months then they will reverse the units carried.

Each of the three Scottish Executive MIUs has a crew of 3.

The MIUs at Clydebank and Kilmarnock run with Mass Decontamination Units and the one at Bellshill runs with USAR.

In 200? Strathclyde made all specials dual crewed. So now if a MIU is required the second pump crew, crew the MIU and the second is put Off the run.

The MIUs at Kilmarnock and Bellshill were swapped as the Clydebank and Kilmarnock MIUs were to carry Heavy Rescue equipment so they could attend large RTCs instead of waiting for Easterhouse's HRV to arrive and as such required a crew cab to save having to send the pump with the rest of the crew.

The MIU at Bellshill was swapped with the FCU at Cumbernauld presumably so they had more crew available (Bellshill is a one pump station and Cumbernauld is a two pump station) and could keep it on the run without having to bring people in on overtime. The MIUs at Clydebank and Kilmarnock now run as USAR with HRV equipment in four cages and the MIU at Cumbernauld is Mass Decontamination with no HRV equipment. In 2010 the equipment that was on the Forestry Trailers based at Douglas, Ayr and Arrochar was been put in a cage and can be carried on the MIU at Cumbernauld, Kilmarnock and Clydebank.


Each Major Incident Unit has two sets of cages one is for Mass Decontamination in the case of a CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear) attack. The MIU also provides the Brigade with an added capability to deal with non terrorist CBRN incidents, such as chemical spills.
The Mass Decontamination Equipment is carried in cages which can be removed by the Moffat Mounty Fork lift on the Grampian, Lothian & Borders and Strathclyde MIUs and on wheeled cages which can be pushed onto the tail gate lift and then wheeled to the scene on the Central Scotland IRU.
On the Strathclyde the tents are carried on the nearside in 9 cages of 2 different sizes and the tools etc are carried on the offside

The roof is raised to facilitate removal of the cages by the Moffat Mounty fork lift truck.
The other set of cages are for Urban Search and Rescue and would be used in building collapses, as happened with the Stockline plastics factory collapse in Glasgow in April 2004, and other incidents where people are trapped and heavy lifting and cutting equipment are required.
Some of the Firefighters using this equipment have been to “Disaster City in Texas, USA. and are passing on what they have learned to others at station level. The Fire Service College is now going to deliver this training.
A range of communications systems have been fitted to the vehicles which will allow the Brigade to talk easily to other Brigades and Emergency services and will ensure national coverage. Each MIU as well as it’s Brigade call sign has a national call sign.
In England and Wales the Fire and Rescue Service has taken delivery of 80 Incident Response Units (IRUs) which are the same as the MIUs, but some of these are spares.
All this equipment has been provided by the Government under the “New Dimension” programme. At the end of 2005 the term New Dimension will have become redundant as it will no longer be ‘new’ nor different ‘dimension’ and it will be referred to as the “Concept of Operations” Other equipment purchased in the life of New Dimension will be for Command and Control, High Volume Pumping and Water Rescue.
There will be a Tiered Response to incidents within a Brigade in line with the Integrated Risk Management Planning for that Brigade:-
Level 1 response
Incident is dealt with by resources deployed on the initial predetermined attendance.
Level 2 response
Incident is dealt with by resources deployed solely by the affected Brigade.
Level 3 response
Incident is dealt with by resources deployed by the affected Brigade, supported by mutual aid assistance from neighbouring Brigades under normal arrangements as defined in sections 13 – 15 of the FRS Act 2004, obtained without assistance of any national co-ordination function.
Level 4 response
Incident is dealt with by resources deployed by the affected Brigade, supported by mutual aid assistance from assisting Brigades from anywhere in the UK, obtained with the assistance of national co-ordination.
The Level responses above apply to England and Wales, I'm not sure if they apply to Scotland.


Scottish Major Incident Units


During the reporting period the Brigade took delivery of 2 Scottish Major Incident Units (SMIU). The first SMIU was provided to the Brigade from funding made available by the Scottish Executive through the New Dimension group attached to HMFSI for Scotland. The aim was to enhance Scottish Brigades capability to respond to major incidents following the events in America on 9/11.
The second SMIU was a partnership whereby the Brigade provided a chassis and the Scottish Executive funded the body build and provided equipment for the appliance.
The 2 SMIUs are to be stationed at Clydebank Fire Station in North Command and Kilmarnock Fire Station in West Command and are fitted with Moffett Mounty Forklift to allow for the quick and safe removal of equipment on the incident ground.
The vehicles will primarily be available to respond to 2 main types of incident, namely Mass Decontamination where large numbers of the public require to be decontaminated and also to incidents involving Urban Search and Rescue (USAR).

Mass Decontamination
The devolved responsibility for the decontamination of casualties rests with the Scottish Ambulance Service who, subject to operational requirements, might devolve operational responsibility for the provision to decontaminate casualties to the Fire Service.
Each SMIU has the capability to carry one full set of decontamination equipment which comprises of 1 Public Mass Decontamination Unit which has the capability to decontaminate 200 ambulant casualties or 25 non-ambulant casualties per hour. Also carried on the appliance for decontamination purposes is a Firefighter Decontamination Unit, a quantity of fully encapsulated gas suits, dis-robe and re-robe packs along with detection and monitoring equipment.


Urban Search and Rescue
The SMIU also carries the following range of equipment to deal with a variety of incidents including structural collapse :-
Technical Search
Casualty locating listening devices, casualty locating search cameras, thermal imaging cameras (TICs) and Tics with integrated wireless systems.
Lifting and Moving
Heavy and medium duty hydraulic equipment and a selection of airbags.
Breeching and Breaking
Concrete chainsaws, core cutters, concrete breakers, circular saws and reciprocating saws.
Equipment to allow for the safe shoring of buildings and timber to utilise to build shores.


Water Rescue
The Brigade recognises that the public perceives the Fire Service as the prime rescue service across a wide range of hazardous situations, including water-related incidents, and the moral responsibility placed upon it to provide an appropriate level of response to all distress calls it receives.
During 2003/2004 the Brigade has enhanced its capability to respond to water related incidents by providing personnel with a range of equipment to assist in the rescue of persons from water.
This new capability has been divided into two levels of response. The ‘level one’ response involves the attendance of first responding crews, who have received the necessary training and equipment to undertake the rescue of casualties in water whilst maintaining crew safety by allowing the crew to remain on shore.
The level one equipment includes lifejackets, throwlines and hose inflation kits on all water tender ladders that respond during the initial stages of an incident. The ‘level two’ response consists of specially trained crews, strategically placed throughout the Brigade who are trained in the use of boats and other specialised equipment. This equipment allows those personnel to carry out rescues, by entering the water, to carry out ‘rescue swims’. The equipment at their disposal includes boats, drysuits, personal flotation devices, and inflatable rescue paths. These crews also have at their disposal a mud lance, which can be used to inject water or air into mud or unstable ground to assist in the rescue and release of persons or animals trapped in this type of environment. The level 2 response is always mobilised in support of the level 1 response to provide additional support and expertise in water rescue incidents.
The introduction of this new water rescue equipment and the additional training given to brigade personnel, will allow the Brigade to provide a more comprehensive water rescue service to the public whilst protecting Brigade personnel from injury during this extremely hazardous type of rescue.
(Strathclyde Fire Brigade Annual Brigade 2003/2004.)


The Scottish Executive funded three MIUs, one each went to Grampian F&RS, Lothian & Borders FB and Strathclyde FB. The other two MIUs in Strathclyde have chassis provided by Strathclyde Fire Brigade while the bodywork and equipment was funded by the Scottish Executive. Each Brigade was given equipment by the Scottish Executive and Central Scotland bought a lorry with a tail gate lift to transport theirs in and it is called an Incident Response Unit (IRU). The MIUs store the equipment in cages which are removed by the rear mounted fork lift whereas the Central one uses cages with wheels which can be wheeled off the lorry via the tail gate.
The Strathclyde MIUs are Level 3 response.



Grampian Fire and Rescue Service North Anderson Drive SV53CNO Scania 94D-300/Saxon                    Photo
Lothian and Borders Fire Brigade Newcraighall SN53NVD Scania 94D-300/Saxon                    Photo
Strathclyde Fire Brigade Clydebank SF53YMG Scania 94D-300/Saxon                    Photos
Strathclyde Fire Brigade Kilmarnock SF04TYU Scania 114G-340/Saxon                  Photos
Strathclyde Fire Brigade Bellshill SF05EWE Scania 94D-300/Saxon                    Photos
Central Scotland Fire & Rescue Service Falkirk SN04EBL Volvo                                               Photo

The strathclyde MIUs based at



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