Mr. Roberto Prieto discusses the work carried out by ITURRI in the provision of 22 fire-fighting vehicles for the Community of Madrid Fire Brigade.
• Which element of ITURRI’s proposed solution stands out for you?
We are proud of the result of the work which we have carried out together, given that we have been able to place particular emphasis on the safety of the user but without compromising on the vehicle’s effectiveness. Another element that is worthy of note is that ITURRI were able to provide us with a multidisciplinary team with very different profiles. Our assessment of this new forest vehicle is that, thanks to the solutions which have been developed, a perfect balance between safety and effectiveness has been achieved, both in terms of driving and in terms of the auto protection systems which have been fitted for the passengers in the interior of the cabin. For example, the anti-collapse cell has a breathable air system in the interior of the cabin and an auto protection system which makes use of the vehicle’s water supply, in addition to this, a decision was made that gives the vehicle an extra capacity for 500 litres which will be used exclusively for this function. I would also like to highlight the fact that it comes with its own centrifugal pump and an electric one which is activated automatically in case the first one cannot be used.
The vehicle has been improved with the renovation of the bodywork as well as the incorporation of a new, more road safe chassis.
We’re very happy with the final product but after one year of service we will be able to give a more definitive assessment once we have confirmed that the user is also 100% satisfied, and that the post-sale services have lived up to our expectations.
• Which of the vehicle’s transformation do you consider to be the most important?
The vehicle’s most important transformation has been in changing from a structure with two front seats and two back seats to one with two front and three back seats.
Throughout the process we have joined forces with the Institute of Automobile Research (Insia)’s laboratory at the Technical University of Madrid (UPM) in order to carry out the homologations of the vehicles and they have validated absolutely everything as an independent body.
• How has the vehicle’s transformation process been carried out?
It has been a very intense period and we have had to work very hard, given that the process entails a lot of visits to the factory and a considerable amount of collective work. In fact I could compare it to making a tailor-made suit. Now we can enjoy the benefits of this very innovative and personalised solution.
Here at the Fire Brigade we have been monitoring the progress of the project carefully, in order to ensure that the result is as close as possible to what we were originally looking for. For example, the emergency light and signage are decisions which have been made by putting themselves in the shoes of the final user of the vehicle, and the only way to do that is in the factory, when you have the product in front of you.
A prototype has been used throughout and which went through the validation processes with the first unit and which has subsequently become the definitive version.
Destructive tests have been carried out in order to verify that all of the modifications, such as the extra seat comply with all of the safety directives, whether the anchoring system is acceptable and the satisfactory performance of the dummy in impact tests.
In fact tests were not only carried out prior to the handing over of the vehicles but in addition to this, training was also provided to staff and fire-fighters in the fleet.
• How was the decision to change from the type of vehicles which were previously used to this one made?
Having attended various international congresses and trade fairs with my colleague Raúl García González, the Head of the Material Resources Department, we decided to make this change. We decided it was necessary to rethink the type of vehicle which we use, opting more a more specialised model.
• Were there any other key aspects in the change process?
As well as changing the type of vehicle, ITURRI has provided training to our firefighting team. In addition to addressing the quality of the vehicle itself, they also explained the characteristics and functions of the product to ensure better comprehension of the product. ITURRI’s training team are very well prepared for this task given that they all have experience working or currently work in the factory and in fitting vehicles meaning therefore that they can guarantee better training.
The Community of Madrid’s Fire Brigade responds to emergencies calls in more than 179 towns that form this community, not including the capital city itself, Fuenlabrada, Leganés, Móstoles and Alcorcón. This is a total of 8,000 kilometres squared, with 19 parks, half of which is forest ground and the other half is woodland. In order to be able to deal with the demands of the summer season, which is when the number of forest fires substantially increases, its team of 1,300 firefighters, one of the largest fire brigades in Spain is strengthened.
From left to right: Mr. Roberto Prieto, Technical Officer of the Community of Madrid’s Fire Brigade, Ms. Ana Karim Coll, Director of the Community of Madrid´s Fire Brigade. Mr. Ernesto Fernández, Director of Grupo ITURRI’s Emergency Unit in Spain, Mr. Juan Antonio Sánchez, Head of Sales for Renault Trucks, Mr. Raúl García, Head of the Material Resources Department of the Community of Madrid´s Fire Brigade, Mr. Oscar Martirena, Commercial Director of Renault Trucks, Mr. Carlos Novillo, General Director of Civil Protection of the Community of Madrid, Ms. Raquel González, Marketing Director of Renault Trucks.