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New tankers by the truckload
An extra $17.2 million dollars from the Victorian Government in the 2014/15 budget to build dozens of new firefighting vehicles has been welcomed by CFA.
The announcement is part of a $29 million investment in 78 new trucks, including 74 medium tankers to be built over the next year.
CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson said the announcement would be welcomed by CFA firefighters and the communities they serve.
“These state of the art firefighting vehicles mean Victoria can claim one of the most advanced firefighting fleets in Australia,” Mr Ferguson said.
The investment comes hot on the heels of the delivery of 124 medium tankers to brigades across the state in 2012/13 at a cost of $49 million.
The design and manufacture of the majority of those vehicles was done in Ballarat and Sunshine, and it’s expected most of the new fleet will again be built in Victoria.
“CFA is very proud to be supporting local manufacturing. It represents a huge investment into local communities,” Mr Ferguson said.
In addition to the tankers, an updated design of the heavy tanker will be added to 10 already being trialled across the state, as well as a medium pumper, breathing apparatus truck and heavy sand tanker.
Mr Ferguson said the new medium tankers had been well received by brigades around Victoria.
“These trucks can pump 900 litres of water per minute – the same as a heavy tanker and double the amount of the current medium tankers,” Mr Ferguson said.
“Essentially, these fire trucks have the capabilities of a heavy tanker but are a better size for accessibility on fire grounds.”
CFA has already begun planning where the new trucks will be deployed following their expected completion around the middle of next year.
CFA volunteers were instrumental in the design, testing and delivery of the medium tankers.
“We received very positive and productive feedback from more than 1,200 CFA volunteers which ensured the vehicles were the best they could be,” Mr Ferguson said.
Today’s announcement brings to more than 300 the number of new vehicles delivered to CFA brigades since 2011.