Olympic emergency response team to be based around five converted Minis loaned in sponsorship deal with BMW
The London fire brigade has agreed a sponsorship deal with BMW that will see it borrow five of the motor giant’s Mini Countryman cars to form the nucleus of its emergency response fleet during the 2012 London Games.
The deal will see the £20,000 vehicles patrolling inside and outside the Olympic park, ready to “provide a full-time operational response”. They will carry fire extinguishers, emergency care packs and defibrillators, and will be decked out in LFB colours and logo and loaned to the brigade for the duration of both the Olympics and the Paralympics. A spokesman for the LFB said the vehicles will be used to investigate alarms, put out small fires and remind people about fire safety.
“These Minis will be a useful addition to our fleet during the Games and have been provided at virtually no cost to the London fire brigade,” said Gary Reason, director of operational resilience and training. “Not only is the Mini an iconic British design, these cars will enable firefighters to travel quickly and discreetly around a busy Olympic park.”
BMW will pay £12,500 to convert the five cars so they can carry emergency equipment. The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority said the sponsorship deal will secure a saving of £50,510 that will “assist the authority to deliver all of its planning commitments despite the reduction in the … Olympic grant”. Reason played down suggestions the deal was a gimmick and an attempt to fight fires on the cheap. “[We] will still have fire engines on the Olympic park along with a range of other measures to support a safe and secure Olympics,” he said. “Throughout the Games, the rest of London will continue to benefit from the same first-class fire and rescue service as usual.”
BMW, one of the main sponsors of the Games, is also supplying the Met with emergency response vehicles.
“Several police forces use large fleets of BMWs, and in Germany many fire service units operate Minis as part of their vehicle fleet,” a spokeswoman for BMW said.
The deal is one of many innovative ways the main sponsors are looking to use the Games to enhance their brands. BP will provide liquefied petroleum gas for catering facilities throughout the Olympic venues. BT will stage a combination of multiple state-of-the-art screens in several venues across the capital.
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