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Tiny Red Rhino fire truck hits streets of Singapore

Downsizing trend hits the Singaporean emergency services with HOPE Technik's 'Red Rhino' fire engine leading the way

Modern fire engines haven't really been hit by the trend for 'downsizing' - fire departments around the world preferring instead to use bulky trucks which can struggle in heavy traffic but carry the necessary equipment with ease. However, Singaporean company HOPE Technik thinks the tiny fire engine is a niche worth exploiting and has created the LF5G 'Red Rhino'.

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The LF5G is designed to be a quick-response vehicle in the same vein as an emergency paramedic car. Gone is the boxy fire truck, replaced by a much smaller vehicle riding on the platform of an Isuzu D-Max pickup truck. With the average UK fire engine weighing between 12 and 14 tonnes, the 2.3-tonne LF5G is a positive featherweight in comparison, and the smaller size makes it much better suited to threading its way through gridlock.

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With Singapore essentially being one giant city, rapid response vehicles like this are ideal for the crowded streets. The LF5G Red Rhino isn't even a new creation - it's actually the fifth generation model. HOPE Technik has ripped out the cabin shell and interior to make room for the firefighters and all their necessary gear, while restyling the front grille to give it "the determined expression of a firefighter on mission". 

The bonnet line has been lowered to improve visibility, while in the absence of proper bodywork a roll cage has been added. The LF5G Red Rhino features an electronic throttle control, which allows the revs to be maintained at the correct level to power the onboard pump.

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Underneath, there are no huge upgrades - the vehicle is powered by Isuzu's 2.5-litre 163bhp diesel engine, with selectable four-wheel-drive.

The LF5G isn't all about fighting fires though, as it has five seats - four intended for firefighters and one intended for a paramedic - along with storage for medical supplies including a defibrillator. The vehicle is HOPE Technik's first dual-purpose front-line vehicle for responding to both fire and medical services.

Would you feel safe with the LF5G Red Rhino protecting our cities? Have your say in the comments below...

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