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Prototype Medium Pumper
CFA has awarded SEM Fire and Rescue (Ballarat) the contract to build a prototype Medium Pumper, following a design process aimed at creating a more user-friendly vehicle with improved water and foam capacity.
It is expected that the first Prototype will be completed by December 2014. From January next year it will go through initial shake-down trials before being taken around the State for firefighter feedback.
Operations Manager Ross Sullivan said that a focus of the design process had been finding simple, evidence-based solutions that maximised effectiveness.
“One great example of the practical improvements we’ve looked at is a light panel on the side of the truck that lets you see from as far as 90 metres away how much water you’ve got left,” he said.
“The ease of use inherent in the pump panel design means that you can walk back to this truck after being away for a period of time, and have no hesitation about what to do. The aim is to reduce the time needed for training and refreshers.”
“The body and cab chassis is based on both years of research and consultation with VFBV as well as CFA volunteer and staff members.”
VFBV Executive Officer, Adam Barnett spoke highly of the design & consultation process, which involved a major review into the cab chassis and locker configurations, also the small gear to be supplied as minimum stowage.
“The Medium Pumper working party has set a new standard for collaboration and consultation, and is an excellent model for the future,” he said.
“We’re really testing new ground with some of the innovations and design concepts which have been based on practical member feedback.”
Leading Firefighter Col Chapman, who has worked with medium pumpers all over the state as both a volunteer and career firefighter since 1985, has been integral to the process of getting the prototype off the ground. He talks us through the design below:
One feature that the proposed Medium pumper borrows from the Heavy pumper is a larger cab chassis. This incorporates seating designed to accommodate personnel wearing breathing apparatus, meaning that firefighters can get out of the pumper with Breathing Apparatus on their back and get straight to work.
Pump and pump panel.
The pump is a Godiva P1 rated at 4000L per minute at 1000 KPA and is a single stage centrifugal-type pump filled with automatic priming. Selection of this pump means CFA has the ability to interchange pump parts between heavy pumpers and the new ‘medium’, with obvious benefits to DMOs.
Extensive thought has gone into creating a highly-functional pump panel. The panel incorporates a foam screen, pump governor screen, and a pump display screen that shows various operating pressures and flows while monitoring the engine performance of the vehicle.
Water and foam
Water capacity on the prototype will be 2500L, an increase on the current 2000L. Capacity for B-Class foam will be increased to 300Litres. To ensure that foam is dosed more accurately, the prototype design also incorporates a post-pump injection foam system, a change from the current system of round-the-pump foam proportioning.
An inbuilt training function (operated from the pump panel) will also allow water to be used in place of foam for training purposes.
Hose reel system.
The prototype employs a ‘dead hose reel system’ as opposed to the ‘live hose reel system’ currently in use. Rigorous testing has shown that over 45 metres, the dead reel system is four times quicker to deploy and has a better flow rate. There are also proven benefits to firefighter health.
Scientific trials conducted by CFA Health & Safety Officer Peter Langridge have compared the impact of the two systems to core body temperature– with the results in favour of the dead reel system. Read more about the trial here.
Equipment supplied with the Medium Pumper will be the most up-to-date available. Standard on this truck will be all-LED torches and remote area light panels, hand-operated combi tools, five-bar nozzles, positive pressure ventilation (PPV) fan to name a few.
Click here to view vehicle specs via Brigades Online.
Click here to view vehicle specs via the staff Intranet.