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Wednesday, 04 December 2013 13:19


Equipment & Infrastructure

Joint Committee -2 Minute Briefing 

Issue 7, November 2013

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held 09/11/2013)


This program continues to run on-time and under budget. There are 105 tankers in progress to be updated by June next year with the new Crew Protection retro-fit, taking the total of tanker to be retrofitted to 1048 tankers. The original program was for 844 tankers, with the additional 105 added to the program this year. These tankers were not originally planned for retrofit as it was hoped they would have been sold and replaced with new tankers by now. However due to no additional government funding for the fleet program in 2012/13, these tankers can no longer be replaced this year, and will now need to be upgraded to ensure all tankers in the fleet are protected. There are 22 Tankers that have been identified from the entire fleet that will not be able to be retro fitted due to mechanical or weight issues that cannot be overcome. These tankers will now be prioritized for replacement.

The huge success of this ambitious project is now receiving interstate acclaim, with CFA being asked by Western Australia’s Department of Fire & Emergency Services to install a crew protection retro fit on one of their own vehicles as a proof of concept. CFA representatives will be travelling to WA to share their knowledge on the program, and assist WA design and implement their own crew protection retro fit program. 


Back at its August meeting, delegates raised the concern that brigades were becoming frustrated with the process of ordering AdBlue for their trucks through the Region/District stores, and that given the short shelf life of the solution, that it was unwise for Regions or Districts to try and manage centralized quantities.

AdBlue is the registered trademark for AUS32, or Aqueous Urea Solution 32.5% that is used with the Selective Catalytic Reduction system (SCR) to reduce emissions of oxides of nitrogen from the exhaust of diesel vehicles. An increasing number of new CFA trucks are being built with AdBlue systems in order to comply with every increasing emission standards.

Following approaches by the Committee, Fleet Services have now confirmed that authority to purchase AdBlue has now been activated on all BP and Shell CFA Fuel cards – so Brigades with an AdBlue Truck, can now pick up AdBlue in 10 or 20 litre containers from their local BP or Shell service station. Both BP & Shell have advised they are increasing the availability of AdBlue throughout their stores and have confirmed that individual stores will order it in if requested by a brigade.

AdBlue can continue to be ordered through DMO’s if it is more convenient for brigades, however it is recommended that where a local supplier can be found, that brigades purchase it directly, due to the limited 12 month shelf life of the solution.


The committee is involved in the design and evaluation of a Trailer Pump prototype which is being developed in time for next year’s round of VESEP (Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program) grants. The aim is for the eventual removal of stand alone Godiva pumps which due to their weight are becoming an OH&S hazard. The purpose built trailer will also have the capacity for a welfare locker to store water, googles and gloves etc and a planned 60 litre diesel fuel tank will provide in excess of 12 hours of continual operation, with a water cooled pump, which will be much quieter than previous pumps.  The trailer is being design with an off road capability in recognition of the environments these units usually need to traverse when used on the fire ground.

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CFA Volunteers are the unpaid professionals of our Emergency Services. VFBV is their united voice, and speaks on behalf of Victoria's 60,000 CFA Volunteers.