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Monday, 14 September 2015 00:00

2 Minute Briefing - Joint Equipment & Infrastructure Committee

Issue 13: July 2015

A quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held 20/06/15)


The Prototype Heavy Tanker has now finished its roadshow around the State, and travelled 11,000 kilometres visiting 95 locations across every CFA District, and was viewed by, in excess of 1,200 CFA members. The Committee is greatly appreciative of CFA’s agreement to the roadshow, which follows the successful road show of the Medium Pumper – both of which demonstrate the high level of interest and passion our members have for CFA vehicles, and the valuable contribution members can have in their future design.

The Committee has received the first draft of feedback, and will be provided full details from the questionnaire that accompanied the Tanker out of session. Initial feedback indicates a high degree of satisfaction with the cabin and cab chassis, but quite poor satisfaction with the equipment and stowage layout, including the rear deck area.

The Committee has requested improved operational input into CFA’s design team, in order to provide more practical advice into the design and layout. Driver evaluation from experienced personnel has also highlighted the need for dedicated and in-depth driver training to support members transitioning from older vehicles, especially those new to automated manual transmissions, which bring their own idiosyncrasies at lower speeds or steep terrain, which members will need to be trained for.


Following VFBV’s request for CFA to review and provide greater support to brigades in its insurance arrangements for brigade owned vehicles, significant progress has been achieved.

CFA has agreed to VFBV’s request for Brigades to be covered for the gap between the pre-accident value (PAV) used to insure the vehicle, and the final cost to the brigade in having the vehicle replaced. Included in the new arrangements are instant cover for all new vehicles which will see new for old applied to all vehicles up to 24 months of age. (Doubling the existing arrangement which only ran for 12 months).

For older vehicles, an annual provision has been established under the Volunteer Emergency Service Equipment Program to cover any gap between the PAV and the final cost to the Brigade for any like for like replacement of written off BOV’s. These arrangements should provide Brigades with a much higher degree of confidence that any damages sustained to vehicles will be covered, and will not result in brigades being any worse off in the case of a major accident either on or off the fire ground.


Earlier in the year, the committee requested Fleet Services investigate the high number of complaints being received from brigades re the performance of ROPS intercoms, prevalent in most single cab chassis tankers. After investigations, a new intercom filter is now available that will help prevent some of the microphone noise when the intercoms are being used. These are now available through the DMO’S. Brigade’s need to ensure that they are reporting any faults or issues with the intercoms to the DMO’s so that they can undertake the appropriate fixes.


A seat belt inhibitor clip has now been approved, and is available through CFA. The clip is designed to stop the seat belt from retracting when a person gets in and out of a vehicle as is common when traversing bush tracks and terrain. The clips are only to be used for off-road situations, and prevents circumstances when a vehicle is on steep terrain and the person gets out of the vehicle, and when they return the seat belt locks itself in place and cannot be drawn to put back on. It has been ascertained that the fitting of these clips will in no way affect the integrity or locking mechanism of the seat belt.

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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.