Five Herefordshire fire stations have taken delivery of powerful new fire engines.

Crews at Kingsland, Ledbury, Leintwardine, Leominster and Ross-on-Wye are now using the latest additions to the Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service fleet.

Each fire engine includes a 3,000-litre water tank, increasing the volume by 40% - and the weight of the fully loaded vehicle to 15 tonnes.

The latest cutting gear and radio systems can be found on each vehicle that is also provided with a 3,000-litre dam, to enable water to be stored while more is collected.

Six cameras around each fire engine give 360 degree CCTV, offering benefits for incident review and driver training.

“It’s made a massive difference to how we can apply water to a fire,” said Phil Major, who is Station Commander at Kingsland, Leintwardine and Leominster.

“The water tank is almost twice the size of those on the previous appliances and that’s enough to put out most fires in an area which doesn’t have a plentiful supply of water outlets.

“It’s a really significant upgrade in our equipment and the crews are delighted with the investment made at our stations in north Herefordshire.

“We are all nothing but pleased, proud and thankful that the organisation has given a little pat on the back to the retained crews in the north of the county.”

There are also new Scania appliances at Tenbury Wells, Malvern, Droitwich, Evesham, and Kidderminster.

Area Commander Guy Palmer said: “This £2.5 million investment demonstrates the commitment from the Fire Authority to deliver a first-class service not only to the communities of Herefordshire and Worcestershire but also to empower our staff with the right tools and equipment to be able to do their job.”