MacNeillie, now one of the country’s largest bodybuilder and vehicle integrators serving the emergency services, defence and security sectors, returns to the annual Emergency Services Show at Stoneleigh this week.

    MacNeillie Ambulance

    The market-leading specialist vehicle converter is well towards the finishing line as it delivers an unprecedented range of assets ahead of the London Olympics next year.

    The company displays two of its latest build units on Stand OS2 – an Incident Command Vehicle (ICV) for Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service and an Incident Support Unit (ISU) carrier for the Department of Health’s Hazardous Area Response Teams (HART) capability.

    The Warwickshire ICV is a good example of MacNeillie’s next generation advanced command and control unit design.  All systems are fully integrated within the compact overall dimensions of an extra long wheel base high roof Mercedes Sprinter 515 CDI panel van.  In transit mode, the vehicle can carry a crew of up to five, with the three rear cabin seats being suitable either for forward facing travel – or swivelled for use at workstations.

    The control room area is fitted with two fully equipped IT desk and screen display positions down the offside of the vehicle.  A full height 19” rack is installed on the nearside of the vehicle, which carries all the electronics required to run the ICV functionality.  An adjacent half height 19” rack houses the computer systems required to operate further functionality within the vehicle.

    A robust, heavy duty awning system is fitted to the nearside of the vehicle extending rearwards from the cab door.  When erected, it can be enclosed with separately attached side, front and skirt panels to create a 4.6m x 3.0m external briefing area.  A 40” external display screen is mounted on the nearside of the vehicle within the awning area.

    The unit can be fully self-sufficient in operation and carries an 8.0kW mains generator set, which is capable of running all onboard systems and equipment.  Input provision for external power is also included via a fully protected mains distribution board.  The rear doors open to reveal a generous equipment compartment, the roof section of which is reinforced to carry a satellite dish if required.  Apart from normal audio visual warning and conspicuity equipment, the unit also carries a public address system. Externally, the communications antennae, for VHF and Airwave, are mounted on a 1.8metre extendable Clark mast, together with a red / white incident control beacon.

    Also on the stand is an Iveco Daily-based 9-seater carrier conversion – one of a suite of nine vehicle types which form the Hazardous Area Response Teams (HART) vehicle fleet. MacNeillie has been working closely to develop and supply the carrier – and a Volvo XC70-based response vehicle conversion since 2008.

    HART personnel are specially recruited and trained to provide ambulance response to major incidents involving hazardous materials or which present hazardous environments.  Originally a Department of Health initiative to allow paramedics to work alongside other emergency services and other specialist agencies in Hot Zones, the Ambulance HART programme is now part of the National Ambulance Resilience Unit.  In order for HART to respond to this essential and vital role, crews need vehicles which are robust, reliable – and which can accommodate all the necessary specialist equipment within a highly functional design.   

    In addition to crew accommodation, the vehicle provides adequate and secure stowage for specialist equipment, including PPE (gas tight suits, PRPS, CR1 and trauma kits) and BA equipment as well as specialist equipment and apparatus for Chemical, Biological, Radiological or Nuclear (CBRN) incidents or those involving hazardous materials (HAZMAT).  Operational communications systems are also fully integrated – as are audio-visual and conspicuity packages, including public address.

    The unit is a further example of MacNeillie’s recognised capability for design, adaptation and integration of standard volume production ‘commercial off the shelf’ (COTS) vehicles to meet bespoke and specialised operational roles.  Importantly, the company also retains the ability to decommission units as part of scheduled fleet replacement, redeployment or end of operational life planning, returning the base vehicle to original specification for resale with good asset residual value.

    Other developments at the company being highlighted at the show include recent changes at the top, with Keith Bradley stepping up to become Chairman after forty years at the firm – and former Commercial Director, Nigel Rowley, taking over as Managing Director.

    Also announced at the recent Advanced Composites Engineering Show, MacNeillie is to offer its composites design and manufacturing capability to a wider market.  The company has built up significant experience and expertise in the sector in recent years, not least through its own highly successful vehicle production programmes, notably for the police and ambulance services.