Fire and Emergency New Zealand is checking the tyres on its Whanganui fire engines after concerns were raised nationally about the safety of tyres on some vehicles.

The New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union recently issued a warning to firefighters that some fire engines have been fitted with inferior J-rated tyres.

The factory-fitted M-rated tyres are rated for speeds up to 130km/h but cheaper, inferior tyres fitted to some fire engines have a maximum speed rating of 100km/h.

Fire and Emergency NZ's driving policy allows fire engines going to emergencies to travel at up to 105km/h on motorways or the open road. However, the union received police advice which said firefighters may be prosecuted if their vehicle exceeded the maximum speed rating of the tyres.


Whanganui Assistant Area Commander Jemal Weston said he had requested information on the types of tyres fitted to the Whanganui fire engines and was awaiting a response.