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Friday, 23 October 2015 00:00

2 Minute Briefing - Equipment & Infrastructure

Issue 14: October 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 29/08/15)

 

VEHICLE WEIGHT CALCULATIONS

Delegates raised concern about conflicting information that has come out from CFA with regards to how to calculate a light vehicle’s weight (FCV/FOV etc).

Some communications has referred to 100kg being calculated for every seat belt/passenger the vehicle is capable of transporting, whereas other documents have quoted 114kg. The Committee agreed that the current CFA standard is to use 100kg for passenger weight calculations, noting that the VicRoads standard is 68kg.

CFA will be requesting AFAC consider a national standard for fire services to use, but in the meantime 100kg will remain the CFA standard. CFA will soon be writing to all OM’s and OO’s advising of the standard, and to ignore any reference to 114kg, which should assist with any queries from the field.

CLASS B FOAM CHANGEOVER

CFA has now authorized funding to change over all Class B foam from the current Tridol brand foam to a fluoro surfactant free type.

This new foam was supported by both the VFBV and UFU through CFA’s Foam Working party. This is the same Class B Foam used by the MFB, and will enable the ban on CFA vehicles carrying class B foam to VEMTC Craigieburn to be lifted.

Whilst fluoro surfactant free type foams do have a slightly reduced performance, the interoperability, environmental and health & safety advantages were determined to outweigh the reduced performance concerns. Changeover of all CFA vehicles (approx. 370) carrying Class B Foam will occur over the next six months, and trucks will be needed by the DMOs for up to 3 days which includes pickup, changeover and delivery back to the brigade.

CFA has advised that updates to foam training materials and info sheets is currently underway in order to support the changeover and educate members on the differences.

WARRANTY UPGRADE TO ALL WATER COOLED BELL UHPS’s

As a result of a number of starter motor faults, a warranty upgrade is being undertaken on all water cooled Bell UHPSs (Ultra High Pressure Systems).

This affects all Medium Tankers built after June 2014 plus any retrofitted 4.4R Heavy Tankers. Work will include the fitment of a cold start “glow plug” functionality; fitting of additional vibration support under the pump to minimize excessive vibrations; extra decaling on the UHPS Control Panel; and an upgrade to the operating manual which will include a single page flyer detailing the work undertaken on the vehicle. By agreement with Bell, the work will occur on site at brigades, and will be undertaken directly by Bell technicians.

The program has started and is hoped to be completed before the start of the FDP. Works takes approx. 2.5hrs per vehicle. Captains should receive 24 hours’ notice of when their vehicle is due for upgrading. Any questions should be directed to your local DMO’s.

MEDIUM TANKER MID PRODUCTION UPDATE

The Medium Tankers have received a mid-production update. These updates are provided to pick up on small incremental improvements which can be accommodated in existing production runs by agreement with the manufacturers.

Included in this year’s update are; a new removable tray under the chainsaw to aid in cleaning the chainsaw locker; the adding of a pinch weld to the top edge of the helmet holders located on the B post stiffener in the cab; the blanket locker has been made higher with a shelf added at the top to allow some storage of drinks and other small items; deck access door catches have been removed from the floor; LED scene lights, spotlights and tray lighting to replace halogen lights and baffle balls are being replaced by baffle bones to better improve the reduction of excessive water movement in the tank.

The largest change is the Hino cab chassis will now be fitted with a 5 speed automatic transmission. This transmission has been tested by CFA with an improved exhaust retardation system to improve the tanker’s handling when descending steep slopes. To support the change in transmission, a train the trainer course is being developed focussing on the new driving aspects. The first refreshed Medium Tanker is expected in early November 2015.

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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.

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