Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

New vehicles, more fireys

Two new specialist vehicles and more staff boosts Shepparton firefighting capability.

JENNA BISHOP July 23, 2014 3:55am

Shepparton Fire Brigade members Morgan Mitchell and Tim Hunter with the two new specialist firefighting vehicles.




The addition of two specialist vehicles to the Shepparton Country Fire Authority fleet has increased capabilities and doubled station staff numbers.

A new aerial pumper and heavy hazmat vehicle have been added to the brigade during the past six months to increase the region’s ability to respond to incidents.

Each vehicle is one of four of its type in Victoria.

Shepparton Fire Brigade station officer Scott Shenfield said station staff had doubled in response to additional equipment.

‘‘With the addition of two vehicles, our staff has increased from three a shift to six a shift to help cater for increased response capabilities,’’ he said.

‘‘The aerial pumper and heavy hazmat vehicles will also be more support for the CFA and to help local communities to deal with emergencies that come up. It will also be more support for all regional volunteer brigades that they can call on for specialist equipment.’’

Mr Shenfield said both vehicles would serve as responding vehicles across the state 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The aerial pumper had spent two months assisting with the Hazelwood open-cut mine fire near Morwell this year and both vehicles had attended several callouts, he said.

The aerial pumper had a 19m boom that could pump water at 4000litres a minute.

‘‘It can also operate 3.5m below ground, which will give us access to cellars,’’ Mr Shenfield said.

‘‘There’s a thermal imaging camera on the boom which will allow us to see different levels of heat on second and third floors or at the top of a building.’’

A second camera could also provide real-time footage to a ground-level monitor to allow crews a bird’s-eye view.

‘‘It’s also increased our pumper capacity for the area, which means we can attend multiple incidents in different parts of the city,’’ Mr Shenfield said.

The hazmat vehicle had state-of-the-art chemical detection equipment, allowing firefighters to detect more than 300 gases or chemicals in the air and determine the parts per million concentration. Mr Shenfield said it carried decontamination showers and tents and equipment to absorb chemical spills or run-offs.

Mr Shenfield said both vehicles operated with a minimum of two trained firefighters, but could carry up to five people.


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