Environmental Protection Unit (EPU)

Environmental Protection Unit (EPU)

The Environmental Protection Unit (EPU) is an important part of our service, and here you'll find out why. You'll also discover what it looks like, what size it is and the equipment it carries

What the EPU is

The EPU is called to support at any incident where there's a possibility of firefighters, the public or the environment being exposed to hazardous materials. It's a Mercedes Sprinter 519CDI.

What it looks like

Where it's used

There are four EPUs. One is based at North Tawton, one at Newton Abbott, one at South Molton and the other at Taunton.

One or more of these can be requested to attend anywhere within the boundaries of the two counties. 

They each carry an electric-powered awning to provide crews with some shelter when setting up at an incident.

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.

Because of the specialist nature of some of the equipment carried, several of the items are maintained only by the supplier’s agents in line with legislation.

People who crew the vehicle

A driver and an OIC (which stands for Officer-In-Charge).

Equipment on the vehicle

  • Chemical protection suits.
  • Spill containment sets (for example, absorbent pads and granules).
  • A hazardous material vacuum cleaner.
  • A peristaltic pump.
  • A generator.

Did you know?

The peristaltic pump is water-driven and capable of pumping semi-solid material, such as silage, sewage or even bulk grain.

This pump and the spill containment sets are provided by the Environment Agency as part of an interagency agreement.

Source URL: https://www.dsfire.gov.uk/fleet/environmental-protection-unit

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