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Avon FRS BMW
Fire Engine Photos
No: 31494   Contributor: Andy Fish   Year: 2012   Manufacturer: BMW   Country: United Kingdom
Avon FRS BMW

This 2008 BMW 5 series was photographed at Avon Fire and Rescue workshops on 21/2/2012. I was told that it was originally bought to be used as some form of fast response vehicle but my guide wasn't really sure.
It's certainly an unusal vehicle for a UK fire and rescue service to operate.
Picture added on 24 February 2012 at 13:29
add commentComments:
Used by the Driving School for officers' EFAD courses.Purchased for that purpose and that purpose alone.

Added by Avonmouth on 24 February 2012.
Thanks for the clarification as to the use of this vehicle. That’s an extravagant way to teach officer EFAD driving though.

Added by Andy on 26 February 2012.
A lot less than an insurance claim against the service for an incident that could be caused by any poorly trained emergency response driver. So in some ways it should be viewed as an investment in good staff training - which may even prove to be a life saver while carrying out a trouble free blue light journey.

Added by Doug on 26 February 2012.
As fire service assets are well maintained this vehicle will also hold its value, coupled with the fact that BMW estates are noted for low depreciation , meaning when the time comes for disposal the nett cost to the Fire service will be reduced ( when compared to similar vehicles )....as evidenced by Glass's guide and other motor trade 'Bibles'....however if the vehicle is leased then that is another matter.



Added by Gary Bolton on 27 February 2012.
Not wanting to 'do Skoda down' but a lot of brigades are using Skoda cars now - they're a lot cheaper than a BMW !!!!

Added by Rick Loudon on 27 February 2012.
If Avon’s flexi duty officers are driving BMW's as standard then I could perhaps see the point in them training in one, but I doubt that they are.
So far as the quality of driver training goes the technique adopted is far more relevant than the vehicle in which it is adopted in is. It is for this reason that most UK fire and rescue services use the police driver’s handbook as the base for both light vehicle and appliance EFAD training.


Added by Andy on 27 February 2012.
Your right Rick I did see a Skoda Yeti in Brigade colours flying down the M5 it was going in the opposite direction so could not confirm what Brigade it was from , but from the quick glance I got it did not seem to have any trouble exceeding the speed limit by some margin.

Added by Gary Bolton on 27 February 2012.
Not to fire up a common debate, but BMW will supply cars to emergency users for a great deal less than the man on the street would pay. Largely due to the excellent PR...

Added by PeteG on 27 February 2012.
Talking about staff cars and Skoda's, my old brigade, Hereford and Worcester, were running Skoda Octavia estate car's for a while. But now they're running around in very nice and expensive Land Rover Freelander's!! For years the brigade always had Ford's from humble Escort's to a mixture of LPG Focus hatchbacks and diesel estates. In these days of cutbacks why are brigades seeing it as ok to spend fortunes on fancy staff cars?

Added by Matt Ireland on 28 February 2012.
Matt as PeterG has mentioned car makers see the potential PR benefit as a bonus , I know from experience that Ford as you say would often provide vehicles for free to Police services and I understand that Volvo had a similar policy back in the 1990's which is why your saw so many Volvo estates on the motorway back then . As a marketing policy a lot of makes will offer the special wiring and suspension upgrades plus a host of other Police/Fire required extras for free thus saving these services £1, 000's of pounds. The vehicles that are being used may be fancy as you say but I doubt very much that the Brigade has paid anything like what you or I would have to pay for such a vehicle. Brigades like any transport type concern now have access to some very sophisticated software that can work out to a penny what a particular vehicle costs and as Brigade costs are scruntinised ( ask Essex Fire Service )It would follow that the vehicles obtained by Brigades are sought on a 'best cost basis'..it is the final overall figure that is important not just the purchase or lease charge.

Added by Gary Bolton on 29 February 2012.
My Service has stated to use Skoda's, The Yeti is a very good car, with 4x4 capability, the Fabia's although quick, are rubbish for many reasons, main reason is try sending 4 guys away on an overnight course? Boot space is crap. We have Astra diesel Estates and 4 inside is perfect with Kit and Overnight bag. Reason we've gone over to Skoda from Vauxhall is the green policy, better MPL and emissions. Pity the Policy Board leaders didn't follow suit with the choice of Jaguars, Audi's and BMW M5's and 3's!!

Added by D.K on 29 February 2012.
Re Andy's comment on 27 February 2012 "If Avon’s flexi duty officers are driving BMW's as standard then I could perhaps see the point in them training in one, but I doubt that they are."
As of December 2011, there were five BMW flexi cars out of a fleet of 27.

Added by James on 06 March 2012.
Ref the freelanders in Hereford and Worcester, Gary is correct about the best cost/ value basis and in fact they were cheaper to have due to the pr of land rover than the previous ford focus' and Skodas were costing the service and provide the service with a resilient 365 day response regardless of road conditions.

Added by N.L on 16 March 2012.
I well realise that one of the benefits of being a flexi-duty officer is the chance to have a lease car, and that officers pay significant amounts to run one.
However with the current climate as it is do we really feel its sending out an appropriate image to members of the public to have fire officers arriving at incidents in BMW and Audi Q5's etc? The public don't realise that that they are not fire and rescue service vehicles.


Added by Andy Fish on 24 July 2012.
Andy, as far as I am aware a leased car/ 4x4 is an official fire service vehicle when the officer concerned is either on-call or on-duty and is entitled to use blues and twos just the same as ambulance service officers.

Added by Stevie Murray on 25 July 2012.
Stevie, You are correct with your thoughts, a lease car does qualify as a fire and rescue service vehicle under the requirements of the Fire and Rescue Services act. In fact some services actually lease appliances as well.
My point was that given the public generally do not know officers lease cars and pay out of their own pockets towards having them the sight of a fire officer arriving at a shout in a car such as a BMW isn't perhaps sending out the right signals in these times of cuts etc.

Added by Andy Fish on 26 July 2012.
As long as the fire gets put out or the rescue dealt with in my view the public does not give a hoot what vehicle an officer uses , its when things go wrong that factors such as 'driving a fancy car ' and still they could not put the fire out / rescue the horse or what ever the incident is.... that members of the public tend to bring in other factors as well ....if officers wish to pay the lease costs for such a vehicle its obvioulsy a matter for them , and as most incidents are dealt with in a highly proffesional manner then driving a BMW could be seen in a postive light against such a background . In any event should anyone contact the Brigade then they would obviously be put right on the matter and any concerns abated...as belts tighten I would be more concerned about Fire service pensions and running costs being explored in the press as they have started to be recently of course those cost simply dwarf the odd few bob spent on a some officers cars. In the US Fire and Police pensions and conditions have become a bit of a battleground in hard pressed communities ....I just hope this is not picked up on in the same way here as we struggle to pull out of the recesion

Added by Gary bolton on 27 July 2012.
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