The Fire Witch was designed by Mr Dawson Sellar, primarily for use in the more remote areas of Strathclyde. His brief was to design an appliance that would not require an HGV licence to drive and would be small enough to negotiate the roads of the Highlands and Islands areas covered by Strathclyde Fire Brigade. The result was an appliance weighing 5 tons and costing £33,000. This particular vehicle was the first of two Mark Is the other six being Mark IIs and it started of its life in the Brigade at Dunoon Retained station in 1983 where it stayed until 1989 at which time it was transferred to Tobermory on the Isle of Mull at which station it served at until 1994 when it moved to the last station it served at, Scarnish on the Island of Tiree from 1994 until 2004 when it was gifted to the Preservation Group.
FIREWITCH PUTS SAFETY FIRST
A prototype fire appliance with a new crew safety cab has been officially handed over to Strathclyde Fire Brigade by Fulton and Wylie Ltd. of Irvine. The appliance, called ‘Firewitch’, was presented to Firemaster Richard Knowlton and Councillor James Jennings, chairman of the Region’s Police and Fire Committee, at a special ceremony in Irvine. The ‘Firewitch’ features a steel cage of exceptional strength, clad with aluminium panelling and with glass-reinforced plastic wings and bumpers. Large windows create an airy interior for the crew and provide maximum visibility for the driver. Four large doors ensure easy access for the crew, even when wearing bulky protective clothing. The cab is built on a Bedford chassis specially adapted for fire appliance duties and the rear bodywork contains all the equipment normally needed by a five man crew.
Mr Andrew Fulton, managing director of Fulton and Wylie, said: “The ultra-modern styling of the cab was designed for us by industrial design consultant Dawson Sellar who worked for many years with the German manufacturers Porsche and BMW. “We collaborated closely in the design and I am delighted with the results of this combined effort. “At last we have a cab entirely of our own, designed and built in Scotland, but able to meet the needs of fire brigades throughout the world.” (Strathclyde Fireman No. 15, November 1981. Page 3)
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