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Medium pumper update
CFA engineers are eagerly awaiting the delivery of the first new generation Medium Pumper, the first of 12 trucks to roll off the production lines between April and August.
A dozen each of Scania Cab Chassis and Godiva firepumps have arrived in Australia, with the manufacture of remaining hardware components underway.
In April last year, a prototype Medium Pumper, designed for urban environments, travelled 14,500 kilometres and visited 80 separate locations, undergoing an exhaustive program of field testing and member consultation.
During the roadshow more than 1500 CFA members viewed the prototype Pumper and passed on feedback.
Suggestions, including more than 200 survey responses, were analysed in detail, with every comment provided being given consideration by a working party. The result was a final specification developed by CFA’s engineering team for the final production model.
Urban and specialist vehicles project manager Ken Hare, said the two biggest changes incorporated into the final design were the fitting of A-class foam to the body, and an upgrade of the cab chassis from P280 to a more powerful P310.
“Having a P310 cab gives us more horsepower and more torque,” he said.
“The 310 will also be equipped to use Ad-Blue, a fluid used in trucks to help them reduce their emissions via a catalytic reduction system.”
The first fully manufactured Medium Pumper is due for completion in April this year, with rolling production of the 12 units likely to last until August.
From there the trucks will go to Scania for pre- inspection, before being placed into the hands of District Mechanical Officers and finally brigades (delivery is expected in October or November).
Leading Firefighter Col Chapman said the four-month trial and member roadshow, which encompassed 80 information sessions, had been well-received and highly worthwhile.
“A lot of people gave their time very generously and I think the end result will reflect that,” he said.
“A number of ideas came out – some of them were just brief one-line answers to the survey but they led to a real light bulb moment.”
“We were able to draw on the knowledge of members not just with considerable firefighting experience, but from those who are professional engineers in their own right.”
Col doesn’t regret the many kilometres he racked up during the field trial last year, saying the benefits of the on-road time were two-fold.
As well as putting the prototype in front of as many members as possible, the heavy usage and field testing during this time was equivalent to ‘normal’ wear and tear over a two-year period.
“We were able to discover where the pressure points were and make adjustments accordingly,” he said.
Col said the prototype vehicle, now based at Lakes Entrance, will become operational in the near future, and has been upgraded to ensure that its capability is a direct reflection of the production pumper.
Ken added that despite the length of the process – factoring in steps including a six-month wait for cab chassis units imported from Sweden – it was worth putting in time and effort at the prototype stage.
“It’s like a football team, you need all the links in the chain to work before you can start kicking goals,” Ken said.
“We want to get the vehicle right so we can continue production for some time to come.
“I’m happy with how the process has worked – we had a plan we followed through with it.”
More information on technical specifications and modifications following last years’ field testing will be available for members shortly, in line with the release of the first production vehicle.
Although there are sometimes changes to distribution plans, according to sudden operational requirements, at this stage the new medium pumpers are being distributed as follows:
1. Mooroopna (D22)
2. Horsham (D17)
3. Churchill (D27)
4. Geelong West (D07)
5. Hamilton (D05)
6. Lilydale (D13)
7. Diamond Creek (D14)
8. Langwarrin (D08)
9. Ballan (D15)
11.Mt Eliza (D08)
- First production model pumper in build at SEM
- Upgraded (retrofitted) prototype pumper at its new home in Lakes Entrance