London Fire Brigade

Bedford heavy unit with a Sulzer pump

Heavy units were issued to assist the lighter trailer pumps used by the Auxiliary Fire Service (AFS).

Most AFS sub-stations had at least one heavy pumping unit.

The Sulzer pump was powered by a Leyland 33hp engine and had a pumping capacity of approximately 600 gallons per minute.

As World War II progressed, a large number of vehicles were issued to the AFS and National Fire Service.

It was accepted this particular model was manufactured to the minimum standard necessary for their indeed use - they were not expected to have a long lifespan.

Heavy Units were also made by Ford and Austin.

Technical information

  • Crew: four to six firefighters
  • Equipment: delivery hose, 28ft (8m) and 14ft (4m) extension ladders, branches, lines, suction hoses, a large radial branch used for pouring huge amounts of water onto fires
  • Pumping capacity: 600 gallons per minute
  • Speed: 30mph
  • Engine: Bedford (Road) and Leyland (Pump)
  • Fuel: petrol (both engines)
  • Manufacturers: Bedford


Share this page


Have you seen