At Penarth Barrage car park fire crews have been testing out the new long-reach ladder system for possible deployment in mud rescues (Photo John Clark)

South Wales Fire and Rescue teams closed off part of car park at the Penarth end of the Cardiff Bay barrage yesterday to train with their impressive new Bronto 32 metre hydraulic ladder system.

Going up: The new ladder can reach 104 feet above ground (Photo John Clark)

The system is the longest hydraulic ladder that Cardiff firefighters have got and can reach up to a height of 104 feet.

Not only can it tackle high-rise fires but – as demonstrated yesterday – it can also extend horizontally to carry out mud and shallow water rescues below the level at which the vehicle is parked.

The system is mounted on Mercedes two-axle chassis designed to allow it to manoeuver in congested roadways and into narrow alleys.

For anyone unfortunate enough to be trapped in the glutinous mud of Penarth’s outer harbour, the new hydraulic rescue system – and the fire fighters – would be a welcome sight. (Photo John Clark)

The total length of the entire vehicle is  less than 9 meters with no “rear-overhang” allowing it to reverse more easily around the rear-wheel pivot point into back lanes. The unit has a outriggers to stabilise the platform and a large rescue cage.

In the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire both the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Cardiff Council are checking the safety of all their residential buildings .

Cardiff Council owns  9 high-rise  blocks of flats in Cardiff – including , Lydstep House, Gabalfa; Beech House and  Sycamore House in Whitchurch; Loudoun House and Nelson House in Butetown and The Maelfa in  Llanedeyrn. The highest however is 16 storeys – out of reach of even the Bronto 32.

The highest apartment block in Cardiff is the “Altolusso” in the city centre which is 72 metres high (236 feet) .

Meanwhile Select Property Group has lodged plans for the demolition and redevelopment  of the Bradley Court office building in central Cardiff and is proposing to construct a new student apartment block 18 storeys high featuring 366 studio apartments.

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