Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, formerly Tyne and Wear Metropolitan Fire Brigade, is the fire and rescue service for the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear. The service provides emergency fire cover to the five comprising metropolitan boroughs of Sunderland, Gateshead, Newcastle Upon Tyne, North Tyneside and South Tyneside, serving a population of 1.09 million people and a total geographical area of 538 square kilometres.[1] Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority is responsible for the running of the service, as well as the publication of performance indicators in accordance with its legal obligations.[2] In April 2017, Chris Lowther was appointed Chief Fire Officer.[3] In November 2018, the service announced proposals to cut frontline operations in order to meet budget requirements imposed by the Government. The proposals are currently under public consultation and members of the public are welcome to complete the consultation survey and attend the remaining meetings, a full list of which can be found at the Tyne and Wear Fire Service website. The public consultation ends in January 2019.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service
Operational area
Country United Kingdom
County Tyne and Wear
Agency overview
Chief Fire OfficerChris Lowther
Facilities and equipment
Official website


Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service was established as Tyne and Wear Metropolitan Fire Brigade in 1974 as a result of changes to area boundaries within the North East of England. Essentially, a fire service did exist through delivery of several smaller fire services established under the Fire Brigades Act 1938 which made it a requirement for local authorities to provide fire cover to their area,[4] although the smaller services were never united as one service as they are today until 1974. During the second World War, all local fire services in the region and on a national level created under the 1938 legislation were nationalised to form the National Fire Service, remaining this way until the Fire Services Act 1947 which handed control back of fire cover back to local authorities in 1948.[5][6] When the service was established in 1974, it brought together four small local fire services and parts of two others to form the service that exists today.[5]

In June 2003, then Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott submitted a white paper to Parliament outlining reforms to the Fire Service in the UK. Part of the reforms outlined included changing the name of fire services across the UK to 'Fire and Rescue Service', giving greater emphasis to the changing role of the fire service.[7] In 2004, following further government publications, the name of the service was changed from Tyne and Wear Metropolitan Fire Brigade to Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service,[5] with post-2004 vehicle livery and all other parts of the service reflecting the name change. In 2006, the service had built six new fire stations under the Public Private Partnership initiative, replacing older fire stations that were in need of extensive upgrade; the service had also built a new headquarters in Washington to replace the previous headquarters on Pilgrim Street in the centre of Newcastle as well as a new Technical Services building.[8] In 2011, the location for the new Sunderland North fire station in Fulwell was announced, with the station expected to be opened in late 2014 and replacing the current station nearby.[9] In July 2014, due to government budget cuts the fire and rescue service was forced to remove a frontline fire appliance from Swalwell and one from Wallsend fire station. May 2015 saw the introduction of two Targeted response vehicles to be based at Washington fire station. In September 2015 a further two targeted response vehicles would replace two fire appliances, one at Newcastle central and one at Sunderland central. Further cuts were implemented in October 2016 removing a further two fire appliances, one at West Denton and one at Hebburn.

Fire Stations/Appliances

Station Callsign Station Name Duty System Appliances
AWest DentonWholetime/Dual Staffed*1x WrL, 1x ICU*, 1x OSV
CNewcastle CentralWholetime/Dual Staffed*1x WrL, 1x WrT, 2x TRV*
EGosforthWholetime1x WrL, 1x ALP
FBykerWholetime/Dual Staffed*1x RWrL, 1x WrT, 1x SWRU, 1x FBt*, 1x BTU*
GWallsendWholetime1x WrL
HRainton BridgeDay Crewed1x WrL
JTynemouthWholetime/Dual Staffed*1x WrL, 1x WrT, 1x IRU, 1x PM+MDU,
KSouth ShieldsWholetime1x RWrL, 1x WrT, 1x SRT, 1x L4V (LiRU)
LBarmston Mere (BTC)Training Centre2x WrL, 2x WrT, 2x EFAD, 1x DTL, 1x FLT, 3x PM*, USAR modules: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
MMarley ParkWholetime1x WrL, 1x ALP
NSunderland CentralWholetime/Dual Staffed*1x WrL, 1x WrT, 2x TRV*
QFarringdonWholetime/Dual Staffed*1x WrL, 1x WrT, 1x PM*, pods: 1x MDR, 1x BFU, 1x FPU,
SWashingtonWholetime/Dual Staffed*1x WrL, 1x HRU*
THebburnWholetime1x RWrL
VGatesheadWholetime1x WrL, 1x WrT, 1x ALP, 1x OSU
WBirtleyDay Crewed/Dual Staffed*1x WrL, 1x DIM*
YSwalwellWholetime/Dual Staffed*1x WrL, 1x PM+HVP*, 1x L4V
ZChopwellRetained  1x WrT, 1x TRV

Fire Appliance Glossary/Callsigns

  • WrL: Water Ladder: A01 / C01 / E01 / G01 / H01 / J01 / M01 / N01 / Q01 / S01 / V01 / W01 / Y01
  • RWrL: Rescue Water Ladder: F01 / K01 / T01
  • WrT: Water Tender: C02 / F02 / J02 / K02 / N02 / Q02 / V02 / Z02
  • TRV: Targeted Response Vehicle: C17 / C172 / N17 / N172 / Z17
  • ALP: Aerial Ladder Platform: E03 / M03 / V03
  • HRU: Hazardous Response Unit: S04
  • OSU: Operational Support Unit: V05
  • SRU: Special Rescue Unit: K06
  • ICU: Incident Command Unit: A07
  • SWRU: Swift Water Rescue Unit: F093
  • FBt: Fire Boat: F09
  • BTU: Boat Transporter Unit: F094
  • Outreach Support Vehicle : A12
  • L4V: Light four-wheeled-drive Vehicle: K13 / Y15  
  • PM: Prime Mover: Q10 / Y16


  • Bulk Foam Unit (BFU)
  • Flood Prevention Unit (FPU)
  • High Volume Pump (HVP)

Urban Search & Rescue (USAR):

  • Prime Mover (PM): L10 / L11 / L12


  • Module 1 - Technical Search Equipment
  • Module 2 - Heavy Transport, Confined Space & Hot Cutting Equipment
  • Module 3 - Breaching & Breaking Equipment
  • Module 4 - Multi Purpose Vehicle
  • Module 5 - Shoring Operations

CBRN Response:

  • Incident Response Unit: J08
  • Prime Mover + Mass Decontamination Unit (PM+MDU): J10
  • Detection, Identification & Monitoring Unit (DIM): W14
  • Training Water Tender (WrT) : L01 / L02 / L03 / L04
  • Advanced Driver Training Water Tender (EFAD) : VTS1 / VTS2
  • Driver Training Lorry (DTL) :

See also


  1. "About Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service". Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
  2. "Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority". Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
  3. "New Chief Fire Officer for Tyne and Wear". Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  4. "Division within HO: Fire Service Department". The National Archives (United Kingdom). Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  5. "History of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service". Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  6. "Timeline: 1248 to 1967". Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  7. "Our Fire and Rescue Service" (PDF). Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 December 2008. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  8. "Community Fire Stations". Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  9. Wheeler, Katy (1 August 2011). "Site of new Sunderland fire station revealed as Fulwell base prepares to close". Sunderland Echo. Retrieved 19 March 2012.

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