Europe's tallest fire ladder pride of Brussels corps


Perhaps on Monday morning, 17 July, many tourists looked somewhat startled when a 12-metre ladder truck of the fire brigade drove up Brussels' Grand Place. Concern soon turned to wonder, however. The firefighters had turned out to present their new showpiece in the heart of Brussels.

The terrible inferno at London's Grenfell Tower apartment block in 2017, in which 72 people lost their lives, sharpened the focus of Brussels authorities and the fire brigade on citizen safety. It was the signal to invest heavily in additional security: modern technology, quality infrastructure such as vehicles, barracks, and equipment, as well as education and training. The fleet gained four ladder trucks and 36 fully equipped ambulances.

But the highlight among the acquisitions is the new 12-metre-long, 30-tonne ladder truck, equipped with a whopping 64-metre-long fire ladder that fully extends in 40 seconds. You can rescue victims up to the 20th floor with it. Add to this the powerful water jet - 2,500 l per minute at 10 bar - of the fire hose and you can tackle flames of up to more than 64 m high.

From now on, Belgium also has its Beast, the pet name for this super ladder truck that joined the fleet of the fire brigade with a salute of honour and ample interest.