Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service

Bespoke New Fire Appliance for Rathlin Island

Photo Caption – the new Fire Appliance for Rathlin Island was officially presented to the Rathlin Firefighters by the Chief Fire & Rescue Officer, Gary Thompson.  In attendance were Joan Baird, Mayor of Causeway Coast & Glens, Geoff Hobson, Coastguard Area Commander and Ken Henning, NIFRS Board Member.  Pictured also are Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Michael Graham, NIFRS Transport Manager, Ian Grimes and Rathlin Firefighters Fergus McFaul, Liam McFaul and Ciaran McCurdy.


Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) has delivered a bespoke new fire appliance to Rathlin Island.  Designed and built to suit the specific needs of Rathlin, the new fire appliance was officially presented to the Rathlin Firefighters by the Chief Fire & Rescue Officer, Gary Thompson, today, Tuesday 13th February. 

This £250K investment is part of NIFRS’s ongoing fleet replacement strategy which replaces older fire appliances with new higher spec fire appliances to enhance the operational capability of Firefighters when responding to incidents.

Gary Thompson, Chief Fire & Rescue Officer, said – “I am delighted to officially handover the new Fire Appliance for Rathlin Island to our dedicated team of Firefighters.  The people of Rathlin are renowned for their resilience and having this bespoke Fire Appliance will strengthen their capability to respond to emergency incidents on the island.  I’d like to thank the community for the support they have given to Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service over the years and to the Rathlin Firefighters for protecting their community and visitors to the island with unwavering dedication.”

Michael Graham, Assistant Chief Fire & Rescue Officer, explains – “Public and Firefighter safety is our top priority and although the population of Rathlin Island is quite small, the Island attracts many visitors each year.   The 8 Firefighters on Rathlin have been trained on their new fire appliance and who are available to respond to fires, road traffic collisions and other emergency incidents across the island. 

“This is the first time that we have custom designed and built a fire appliance specific to the needs of Rathlin and our Transport team worked closely with the manufacturer on the development and build of the appliance.

“The Rathlin fire appliance differs to our standard appliances being shorter and lighter to improve manoeuvrability around island.  It carries a different type of ladder and light portable pump but still has the capacity to carry 1800L of water and 100L of foam.  The fire appliance was developed taking into consideration the specific risks, geography and terrain of Rathlin Island.

“NIFRS continue to invest in our frontline services to ensure that our Firefighters are equipped with the latest technology and equipment in order to deliver the highest standard of fire and rescue service to the local community.”


For further information please contact Corporate Communications on 02892 664221.


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