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First medium pumpers off production lines
The first batch of next generation medium pumpers is one step closer to getting on the road, with four of the 12 new pumpers handed over to district mechanical workshops.
One of those appliances is now sitting with the District 7 DMO, where Officer-In-Charge John Dowthwaite is overseeing pre-delivery inspections.
“Our guys make sure that all the systems are up and running so that there are no safety issues once the truck goes out to the brigade,” he said.
“That includes checking things like the steering and suspension, also tyre pressure, wheel nuts and fluid levels.
“We do road tests, pump testing, foam systems… Even though all of those things have also been tested by the manufacturer it is our job to double check that all of those things are operating the way they were designed to.”
John said the DMOs also worked through a checklist put together by CFA’s Quality Assurance person who looked at the medium pumper when it was at the manufacturer (SEM Fire & Rescue Ballarat).
“Our job is to make sure the manufacturer has rectified any issues where the vehicle hasn’t complied with CFA standards," he said.
The back panel of the medium pumper has already attracted considerable interest from firefighter, with the new electronic controls considered a big leap forward from the previous model.
Another new and exciting feature is the two ‘BA seats’ that allow firefighters to wear breathing apparatus while travelling in the vehicle.
Rear lockers also swing out to give access to the pump module, resulting in a much easier and ergonomic arrangement for mechanics, and also make it easier for trucks to be repaired at fire stations without having to come back to the mechanical workshop.
The first four medium pumpers will be delivered to Moroopna, Horsham, Churchill and Geelong West at the beginning of September, and will come online following a one to two month period for brigade training.
The remaining eight pumpers will come off production lines and be gradually rolled out to brigades up until late November this year.
John said DMO pre-delivery checks were important to giving brigade members peace of mind once the vehicle passed into their hands.
“It takes out the guesswork for members – so that if something isn’t working you are second guessing about whether that is down to a gap in training or due to a fault.
“We want to be sure each vehicle is spot on for when it goes to the brigade.”
Click here to view vehicle specs via Brigades Online.