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Joint Equipment & Infrastructure Committee - 2 Minute Briefing May 2014

VFBV/CFA Joint Equipment & Infrastructure Committee

2 Minute Briefing - May 2014

Issue 9: May 2014


The committee is currently overseeing the Alpine Resorts vehicle trial, which CFA will be conducting over the new 24 months. VFBV have requested that volunteer representatives from the Alpine Brigades be involved in the trial, and represent the committee on the steering group, in order to embed local input. CFA have agreed, and are providing regular updates through-out the trial. The first part of the trial is to develop and pilot a concept Alpine First Attack Vehicle, which is intended to provide additional capability to the Alpine area’s to cater for their unique hazards & provide faster response by Brigade members. Details of the pilot are being published on Brigades Online.


The committee continues to review the specifications for the proposed Sand Tankers, reviewing feedback from the Prototype that has currently been touring the Western Districts. Operational representatives from District 17 & 18 attended the meeting to push the case for a reduced water capacity of 3,000 litres, with the preference being for super single tyres. The request for reduced water capacity surprised the committee, as previous requests have always been for more water. The committee will continue to monitor the feedback from the prototype, and have requested CFA to reconvene the working party to study the feedback in more detail. It is expected to see a build by December 2014.


The Scania cab chassis for the new Medium Pumper prototype has now arrived and work has begun on building the body & lockers. Local Ballarat manufacturer SEM Fire & Rescue has been awarded the contract and is now working closely with CFA engineering on the fit out. It is expected that the first Prototype will be completed by December 2014. From January next year it will go through initial shake-down trials before being taken around the State for firefighter feedback. The committee is currently reviewing the small gear & stowage.


The committee has for some time been pursuing the issue identified by a volunteer that under certain circumstances, the loss of the vehicles electrics could cause the pump in some Tankers to shut down. CFA engineering has been working with the committee to research the issue and a proposed solution. Although there has been no reported cases in the operational context, CFA have accepted the merit of fixing the problem as an added level of safety in the unlikely event that the crew protection system is required to continue operating whilst the trucks wiring has been compromised.

CFA engineering have narrowed the issue to be specific to the larger 900 l/min Hatz engines that are controlled by an electric stop/start. The smaller 450 l/min Lombardini engines are not affected because they have a mechanical pull cable stop. Tankers built since 2012 are not affected, as they already incorporate “energise to stop” technology.

CFA have now proposed to undertake a retrofit program to fit out approx. 550 affected older model Tankers will be fitted with a new “energise to stop” kit, which will fix the problem. This work is expected to shortly be carried out through the DMO network through the regular annual service and will take approximately one year to complete. The committee congratulates CFA on this important safety initiative.


A decision is imminent, and is expected to be communicated to brigades within the next 60 days. Watch this space.

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