The highest aerial ladder platform in the country is now being used in a fire and rescue service.

Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service has welcomed a new aerial ladder platform into service, which has a reach of 45m and has been designed based on firefighters' specifications.

The platform is able to carry more weight than the old model, with a larger cage to allow wheelchair access and make it easier to rescue people.

Terry Hone, who leads on community safety for Hertfordshire County Council, said: "This is one of the most expensive vehicles we’ve ever bought for the fire service, but we believe it’s a great investment.

"It’s been designed by firefighters, for firefighters and is a big step up in capability for our fire service.

"I’m confident it will make a real difference to our ability to keep both the public and our firefighters safe."

The platform will be helpful in a number of situations, according to area commander Andy Hopcraft, who said it can be used to rescue people from a height as well as reach an inaccessible fire such as in roofs or within collapsed buildings.

It will be based at Stevenage Fire Station and the older model, which is 30m, will also remain in service.