West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has added 30 new Skoda Kodiaqs to its fleet to be used by senior officers to respond to emergency incidents quickly.
The new vehicles feature bespoke conversions complete with a blue-light communication system and IT platform integrated within existing infotainment touch screen.
In addition to fires, the emergency team respond to road traffic accidents – attending 634 in total last year – with the capabilities of the Kodiaq ensuring officers are able to get to the scene of an incident efficiently and safely.
The Kodiaq SE trim model chosen by the team uses a 2.0-litre diesel engine, which produces 150PS and can sprint from 0-62mph in under 10 seconds. Equipped with a four-wheel drive system, Dynamic Chassis Control and progressive steering, the Kodiaq has the ability to tackle tougher, out-of-city terrain – an important condition given over 40% of the county’s population reside in rural areas.
All Skoda Kodiaqs delivered to the West Sussex Fire and Rescue team have been fully converted to meet the individual requirements of the service. This includes, for the first time ever in a Skoda, full integration of the emergency service’s warning system and communication platform within the brand’s existing infotainment touch screen. Having all controls operated through one system provides a seamless switch between vehicle and service controls.
Further conversions made at the request of the blue-light service were a light bar and siren, 360-degree lighting and a dedicated livery, all of which were completed by one of Skoda’s approved specialist partners, Pressfab EVO Limited.
Paul Mace, West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service’s area manager for Fleet, said: “These new vehicles mark a significant investment in the fire and rescue service, and will ensure our officers are equipped with the very latest technology to help them respond in an emergency situation.
“We have been delighted with the specification of the Kodiaq and were able to work closely with Skoda throughout the manufacturing process to ensure all of our officers’ needs are met. A key benefit of these new models is that they have allowed for the full integration of multiple additional systems into the vehicles’ standard systems, allowing for all controls to be coordinated in one central location.”
So far, the brand has delivered 30 fully converted Kodiaqs to the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, with another five vehicles due later this year.
Bespoke conversions for emergency service fleets can be provided through Skoda’s ‘one-stop’ shop package, which includes breakdown recovery, service, maintenance and repair requirements built into one package.