Home Featured News First Wimmera viewing of specialised ‘Ultraheavy’ tanker

First Wimmera viewing of specialised ‘Ultraheavy’ tanker

District 18 Operations Offi cer Matt Gardner explains the features of the new prototype Ultraheavy Tanker to Warracknabeal Fire Brigade members on Tuesday night.

THE CFA has now built its own version of a New South Wales Rural Fire Service-designed and built Category 6 Tanker….with some CFA modifications to better meet occupational health and safety and practical application in the field.

District 18 Operations Officer Matt Gardner (OO) met brigades around the district this week to show members the tanker and discuss the operational merits and potential of the
new tanker.

The tour visited Rupanyup and Warracknabeal on Tuesday, then visiting Horsham and Nhill on the following evenings.

Two prototypes have been developed and are the end result of a cross border relationship between District 20, Operations Manager Peter Taylor, OO Matt Gardner and the creators of the NSW RFS model, Chris Barron and the team in Denilliquin.

The 6×4 wheel drive, 26 tonne ‘Ultraheavy Tanker’ prototypes have been built with the aim of supporting smaller brigades, with limited member numbers and will be based in central areas, to support those brigades.

There are currently two versions of the tankers, one with manned firefighting capabilities, carrying 9,000 litres of water and Class A foam capacity and the other with no frontline capability, carrying 12,000 litres, used basically to refill operational fire trucks.

Both have the ability to carry and transfer water as support vehicles to other fire crews, while the version that visited Warracknabeal has both water carrying and fire suppression capabilities.

It is also designed to be utilised to lay down ‘fire front water paths’ to assist with the
suppression of large fire fronts and is also fitted with a high capacity three cylinder diesel
pump and a remote control ‘monitor’ nozzle at the front.

A new format of ‘procurement’ is also being trialled. Instead of the traditional ‘roadshow’ where appliances are driven around the state and comments taken ad-hoc, either informally or by on-line survey, OO Matt Gardner is trialling a new presentation method
which will involve all of the stakeholders, in line with the chain of command to engage and manage risk in accordance with legislative requirements from the Chief, to the Operations Manager and to the field. This includes new ‘tactics and strategies’ in the application of the appliances, targeted locations utilising data from fi re reporting, including member activity and types of calls.

The presentation also gives the district field staff a voice in developing appliances that better meet their needs and responsibilities of ‘risk mitigation’ by composing future appliance requirements for build programmes and then allows strategic locations to be identified where the appliances are best suited.

It is the intention to create a ‘baseline’ model for manufacturing, with ‘options’ to better customise the appliance to its intended response area, risk mitigation requirements and locations at any fire station across the state.

To top this all off, a proposed ‘end to end’ appliance procurement process is being proposed to capture all of the related issues that are often unplanned for with appliance allocations, this includes in the proposed build programmes a complete process of-training packages prior to delivery.

Currently the two 9.2S  tankers are doing two separate presentations, OO Matt Gardner is presenting the new trial method in Districts 16, 17, 18 and 20, whilst Toddy Small is doing the normal “roadshow” around the rest of the state.

“So far the feedback I am getting is what we already knew, more water, less
operators and a better final drive-line is required,” OO Matt Gardner said,

”but it is finally a step in the right direction in assisting our members who are affected by rural decline and environmental change”.