AFTER a few months of training, Korumburra Fire Brigade is finally ready to unveil its Christmas present from the CFA; a brand new truck to replace the brigade’s 14 year old tanker.
The new Heavy Tanker can carry 4000 litres of water (1000 litres more than the old truck), has a higher pumping capacity, and a pump that can be controlled from inside the cabin while driving. Other new features include a longer, more efficient hose, a built-in GPS, and a reversing camera.
Korumburra Fire Brigade Captain Shane Maskell says the crew have been training with the new truck since November, finding it a lot more user-friendly than the older model.
“It’s got a lot of little technical things that make our job a bit easier. The foam is a lot easier to use, for example, so we’ll probably use it a lot more often.
“You just push a button and tell it what you want and away you go, whereas before you had to muck around with it a bit more, and we’d just end up using more water because making foam was too hard,” he said.
Shane says the best thing about the new truck is that the whole crew (five to six people) can sit in the cab, whereas before, three people had to ride on the back of the truck.
“It makes it a lot safer for the crews and we can communicate with each other instead of trying to yell out the window,” Shane said.
CFA Operations Officer Graeme Symons says new trucks go “where we [the CFA] think they’ll benefit the community the most”.
“We look at who the busy brigades are and who’s doing the work and whose trucks are getting a bit old.
“This is a good upgrade for Korumburra. I think they’ve been waiting for it for a fair while so we’re really excited that they’ve got this new appliance.
“And it’s really opportune that we’re just coming into the busiest time of year and it’s great that the brigade’s got that resource,” he said.
One of the newest issue trucks in the CFA’s fleet, there are only 25 of these tankers in the state, and Korumburra’s is the only one in South Gippsland.
The tanker is yet to see a real fire since being put into service last week, with only a couple of call outs for very minor incidents, but Shane says it will definitely be put to good use.
“It’s going to be a really, really good thing not just for us but for the whole area. Its water capacity and everything it’s got on it – it’s going to be a really good asset. We’re very lucky,” he said.
Korumburra’s old tanker will be sent to another brigade whose truck is in need of replacement.