Behind the Scenes: London City Airport – Water action for the Fire Service
- Behind the Scenes: London City Airport: The Introduction
- Peak rush to London, aLoft ExCeL
- Morning time at LCY – Inspecting runway lights
- Ramp Operations
- At the JetCentre
- Ramp Walk 1
- Ramp Walk 2
- From the Tower
- Watery Inspections with the Fire Service (THIS SECTION)
- Leaving London and Final Thoughts
After visiting the tower, it was time to head over to the Fire Service at London City Airport.
At the airport they operate 4 fire vehicles (two of which must be functional to allow the airport to operate) and two boats.
Why boats I hear you ask?
Map Data: Google.
London City Airport is surrounded by water – be it the Royal Albert Dock in which it resides and the River Thames that is around it – thus a Fire “boat” service is an essential part of the service that is needed.
The team of fire-fighters have a number of jobs around the airport, beyond simply those you might expect in an emergency. They operate 4 fire vehicles, of various ages. Two tenders have to be working to allow the airport to operate.
Miles from Blighty had a great experience with team putting out a fire. I was to get something different… Quite different.
After walking from the Tower and Operations toward the first fire station, the firemen check I didn’t get sea sickness, there was a safety briefing… And then out on a big fire truck.
Not this Fire truck…
This fire truck 😉
And you know what… I did feel like a big kid in a candy shop as I was allowed a front seat 😉
The trick drive from from the fire station, along the ramp and along to taxi way delta, and finally onto a side road you’ll see that runs parallel to the the Thames side of runway – this is Pontoon Road.
After parking up, life jackets were issued and then it was onto the rigged inflatable.
After making sure we were all aboard safely it was time to push back and power up.
The Fire services duties are numerous – from actual fires on the ground to spillage cleanup, to hazmat containment, they also do a lot of work on the water.
Apart from training for the obvious (dread the thought – a water landing), the fire teams main duties is sadly to help out when there is a suicide attempt that sometime occur in the Additionally they help out with canoes capsizing and other water based activities that happen in the Royal Albert Dock.
Training runs from the team take them as far as west Westminster bridge, and as far east as the Dartford crossing to allow them to train for all eventualities.
From the water there are also some views that you won’t see every day of the week when at London City Airport from the docks.
CityJet Avro on departure
British Airways A318 (G-ENUA) arriving from New York
After a few more powerful turns, the Fire Crew docked the ridged-inflatable back at the dock and dropped us off at Gate 23 for another security check.
One of the things I took away from this trip to London City Airport is simple: There is a lot to running an airport of any size – and even the Fire service on site has a depth and richness to it that you wouldn’t expect at first sight.
Disclosure: London City Airport kindly supplied a hotel room at aLoft ExCeL to me to assist in this visit. Some details and factual information has been provided by London City Airport Corporate Communications Department.
All opinions expressed within this trip are my own, represent my own personal thoughts and my observations during the visit.