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Operation Fresco

  Ministry of Defence /  UK Defence Today / OperationsOperation Fresco  / Training

Equipment and Training

The Bedford Self-Propelled Pump, better known as the Green Goddess (those in Northern Ireland are actually painted yellow), is an austere but powerful pumping appliance, owned and maintained by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. Built on the Bedford S chassis between 1953-6, one advantage it enjoys over most modern fire appliances is 4x4 drive, giving a good cross-country capability. It is fitted with a a powerful water pump capable of feeding four hose-lines with 900 gallons per minute, and carries a first-aid tank of up to 300 gallons of water as an alternative to supply from a hydrant. The system is capable of foam use when necessary. 1600 feet of hose is carried, plus a range of other fire-fighting equipment, including a second, lightweight and portable, pump and a ladder. Despite common misconceptions, the vehicle is capable of speeds up to 50mph. A limited number of Red Goddesses are also available - these are somewhat more modern vehicles and are being used to supplement the Green Goddesses in areas where their capabilities are likely to be most useful. The vehicles are capable of 70mph, have a more powerful pump, and a standard Fire Service 13.5m ladder.

Video clips of Armed Forces personnel undergoing training at RAF Manston:
Ladder work Use of cutting gear Firefighting Breathing Apparatus training
MPEG version (5MB) MPEG version (14MB) MPEG version (6MB) MPEG version (8.5MB)
RealMedia version (2.5MB) RealMedia version (7MB) RealMedia version (3MB) RealMedia version (4MB)
WMV version (400KB) WMV version (1MB) WMV version (500KB)

WMV version (700KB)

       

The standard Green Goddess crew numbers six, including a driver and commander
(Click here for high resolution version)

The Green Goddess' pump can deliver 900 gallons of water per minute
(Click here for high resolution version)

Royal Marines of 4 Assault Squadron, based in Portsmouth, practise their fire-fighting skills
(Click here for high resolution version)

All three Services are involved. An RAF crew receives training on the use of the Goddess' portable pump
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A crew from the 1st Battalion, The Worcestershire & Sherwood Foresters Regiment
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Soldiers from the Duke of Wellington's Regiment train with a Red Goddess in Nottinghamshire
(Click here for high resolution version)

The Green or Red Goddess is manned by a crew of six Service personnel. These include a driver, who has undergone a special Green Goddess course to master the handling of the vehicle, which weighs 8.4 tonnes, and an Officer or Non-Commissioned Officer trained as a crew commander. The Green Goddess crews are trained to fight and contain fires. Obviously, the highest priority is to save human life. To this end, two types of dedicated rescue teams, formed from professional Royal Air Force and Royal Navy firefighters and other military personnel who have undergone an intensive five-week course, are available to back up the Green Goddess crews. The three-man Breathing Apparatus Rescue Teams (BARTs) are trained and equipped for the dangerous task of entering a smoke-filled building, as well as dealing with road traffic accidents. Where more specialised equipment or skills are needed, Rescue Equipment Support Teams (RESTs) are also on hand. The BARTs and RESTs deploy in modern vans, fitted with blue lights and appropriate markings. Like Green Goddesses, these vehicles will receive a police escort when responding to an emergency. The vans carry equipment such as hydraulic rescue gear, breathing apparatus and, in the case of the RESTs, thermal cameras and protective suits for chemical incidents.

848 Green and Red Goddesses, manned by 10,000 personnel from all three of the Armed Forces, are available if needed. 331 BART teams have been trained, along with 59 REST teams: these comprise a further 2,500 personnel. Some 6,500 other personnel may be used to support the operation.


A team fully equipped with protective equipment and breathing apparatus tackles a major fire during a training course
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The pumps are designed for foam as well as water
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The Breathing Apparatus Rescue Teams comprise professional Service firefighters plus other personnel who have undergone an intensive five-week course
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Practising a ladder rescue
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Light Dragoons undergoing training in ladder work
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BART personnel are trained in rescue from smoke-filled buildings
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Rescue crews have also been trained to cope with road traffic accidents
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A female Royal Navy rating uses cutters to gain access to a wrecked vehicle
(Click here for high resolution version)

BART and REST teams deploy
in marked light vans carrying their
specialist equipment. The picture above is of a Royal Navy rescue vehicle
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An RAF rescue vehicle. Like Green Goddesses, these would receive police escort when responding to an emergency
(Click here for high resolution version)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page Modified:17 October 2002

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