Prime Mover

Here, you can find out more about the function of a Prime Mover, the different types we have in service and see an example of what one looks like.

What the Prime Mover is

The Prime Mover is a standard chassis fitted with a hook lift, which is designed to lift and carry pods or containers. Service Pods have a more specific purpose than usual pods.

At each location where a Prime Mover is kept, two pods will also be present. One carries bulk foam (the Foam Pod) in IBC containers (containers that hold 850 to 1,000 litres of foam each), and additional delivery equipment. This means that lots of foam carrying outlets can be available to fight a fire.

This Foam Pod is delivered to major incidents where extra support is needed, as the normal appliance only has 20 to 40 litres of foam.

The second pod is called the Welfare Pod. This has a self-contained kitchen, toilet and wash facilities as well as a rest area. It's a place where off-duty crew members can rest and eat whilst in attendance at serious and long-lasting incidents.

Both the Welfare Pods and Foam Pods were built here by our Chelston Workshops.

Where it's used

There are three Prime Movers and their associated pods. These are based at Ivybridge, Crediton and Burnham on Sea.

A reserve Prime Mover is kept at Service Headquarters. It's used by the Community Fire Safety department to transport their training equipment and Instructional Pods. However, it's always available for emergency front line use.

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) which are maintained by the Communications department, which is based at Service Headquarters.

People who crew the vehicle

An OIC (which stands for Officer-In-Charge) and a driver.

Equipment on the vehicle

None that is specific to the appliance. It depends on the department which type of pod is carried by the Prime Mover.

The different types

  • MAN 18-tonne axle 4x2.
  • The Prime Mover currently based at Burnham On Sea is the only type not built in house by the Service Maintenance team.

Did you know?

The New Dimensions team at SHQ also uses a number of pods for transporting their specialist equipment to larger incidents. Their Prime Movers are larger than the ones listed above. They can comfortably carry the Service's pods, whereas our Prime Movers are too small to carry the much heavier pods used by the New Dimensions team.