The City of Surrey Fire Department identified the need for a single mobile equipment transport unit equipped to respond to several simultaneous emergency incidents and not be permanently tied to any one location. A team with members from various divisions including fire suppression, training, mechanical and administration was formed to research this new concept. The research not only stemmed locally but also reached out to other fire departments in North America, the military, counterparts in Europe and various equipment manufacturers.
The fire service is a classic example where vehicles (by the very nature of their stand-by emergency role) are under-utilized. Traditionally, fire departments carry specialized vehicles with fixed bodies. Back up vehicles are normally used to assist in fire and rescue activities, and for salvage and overhaul. Purchase, operating and staffing costs can be enormous.
The Surrey Fire Department wanted to design a vehicle in a modular fashion with a platform on demand system or P.O.D., and crane that could handle the tasks of lifting specialized equipment and supplies on and off one truck which may be distributed at one incident or a multitude of simultaneous incidents. This multi-purpose vehicle is the first of its kind in any fire department in North America and incorporates a Multilift Hooklift system and HIAB articulated crane.