NEW ‘state of the art’ fire engines will take to Oxfordshire’s roads in just a few weeks.

Billed as the next generation of fire-fighting machines, the first of 37-strong fleet were unveiled yesterday and will be rolled out across three counties over the next four years.

The engines, which boast longer hoses and battery-powered tools to cut people from cars after crashes, are the result of a collaboration between Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service and Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Fire and Rescue Service.

Each engine costs about £250,000 but the services bought them in bulk and estimate this will save £700,000 overall.

Area manager for the Oxfordshire service David Haycock said: “The firefighters get better engines, there are savings for taxpayers and it’s a major foundation step for the future generation.”

The appliances have been made as universal as possible so crews across the three services can operate each other’s.

Fifteen vehicles have been ordered for the project’s first year, with four for Oxfordshire, based in Oxford, Bicester, Wantage and Thame.