Aerial Ladder Platform (ALP)

If you're not sure what an Aerial Ladder Platform (ALP) is, or want to learn more about it, we've collected all of the facts here. Find out what some of its main uses are, how high the vehicle is and more.

What an ALP is

An ALP is designed to disperse water onto buildings from above. This is normally for use at incidents where it may be inaccessible to do so from the ground. These vehicles are also used to:

  • assist in rescues from tall structures
  • provide observation platforms
  • provide a stretcher if needed.

What it looks like

Where it's used

There are currently seven ALPs in service. These are based at:

  • Barnstaple 
  • Exeter
  • Taunton
  • Yeovil
  • Torquay
  • Crownhill (Plymouth)
  • and Bridgwater. 

How it's maintained

All vehicles and their equipment are maintained by the Fleet Maintenance team, who are based at one of four workshops throughout the two counties. 

The only exceptions to this are the vehicle's communications systems (radio or mobile data links). These are maintained by the Communications department, which is based at Service Headquarters.

Specialist maintenance is also provided by the manufacturers on a bi-annual basis. This is to fulfil the legal requirements for Lifting Operations Lowering Equipment Regulations (LOLER), specific to the turntable ladder and associated components. 

People who crew the vehicle

An OIC (Officer-In-Charge) and a driver or pump operator. Additional crewing is supported by other appliances in attendance. 

Equipment on the vehicle

  • A 110-volt generator for high-level lighting and cutting equipment.
  • A 110v disc cutter.
  • A reciprocating battery-powered saw.
  • Additional confined space access tools for firefighting (fognail water misting system).
  • A stretcher.

The different types

  • Mercedes/Simon Snorkel.
  • MAN/Angloco-Bronto.











Total weight


26 tonnes.

Maximum cage loading



Maximum elevation



Did you know?

The ALP has a reliable system, but there are two backup systems just in case the main engine fails. These can be used to recover the booms and cage to the correct transport position. 

The first backup is electrical and uses the vehicle batteries, whilst the second uses the weight of the booms to power the hydraulics. This can only be used when the boom is positioned vertically.

The vehicle is fitted with manually operated hand pumps to centralise it following failure.