Emergency vehicles given extra support during extreme weather

EMERGENCY services in Yorkshire have been using a variety of methods to get their vehicles through treacherous conditions on the region's roads this winter.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue has been backing up its fire engines during the heavy snowfall with 4x4 vehicles as a precaution in case they get stuck on the way to an incident.

West Yorkshire Police fitted snow tyres to 70 of its 540 marked fleet and West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue has been using differential locks and traction control on its 4x2 vehicles.

The Yorkshire Post's survey of police and fire services comes after reports last month that ambulances were struggling to get to emergencies during the extreme weather.

All of South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue's engines are equipped for use in snow, although some have been backed up by 4x4s. A spokesman said: "As a precaution, during the recent heavy snowfall, we backed up fire engines with someone driving a 4x4 vehicle, in case of a problem getting a fire engine to an incident."

South Yorkshire Police has 17 4x4 vehicles on its fleet and a further eight unmarked, but the majority of these are saloon rather than Land Rover-type vehicles.

Humberside Police has more than 630 vehicles in its fleet and 23 of these are 4x4 vehicles, with the majority equipped with "mud and snow" tyres as standard.

West Yorkshire Police has 540 marked police vehicles – 38 of these are 4x4s, 70 have snow tyres fitted and there are 54 sets of snow chains.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue has 42 4x4 cars and vans, and all of its other vehicles are 4x2s, with differential locks for traction control. Snow chains are also available.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue has a total fleet of 47 engines, with two 4x4s, and all other vehicles are equipped with snow chains and traction control.

It also has 16 "special appliances" with snow chains and traction control, two community service 4x4 vehicles and five 4x4 vehicles for "flexi-duty" officers. There are also 14 4x4s which can be used during extreme weather.

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