Prime Mover Magazine

Noosa SES first responders rely on Isuzu trucks

Noosa State Emergency Services (SES) specifies trucks from commercial vehicle manufacturer, Isuzu Australia, for robust, reliable ‘go-anywhere’ transport to safely and swiftly ferry equipment and personnel throughout the southern Sunshine Coast in Queensland.

Noosa SES is a not-for-profit volunteer community organisation tasked with responding to emergency situations affecting Noosa and surrounding regions.

SES teams comprise volunteers who are specifically trained and equipped to assist at-risk communities quickly and efficiently.

For Noosa SES President, Pauline Eglington, the management of specific skillsets and ability levels are a constant consideration.

“We take on people from the age of 16 years and over,” she said.

“All SES members are fully trained in all roles required by our volunteers, from safety ropes and knots, ladders, lighting and radios to climbing and abseiling equipment and traffic control.

“There are a number of memorable callouts, but one particular traffic accident stands out as we had to manage a tricky diversion through the roads into Pomona and back on to the highway. It went late in to the night and we were placed in a fairly dangerous situation, mainly due to the busy roads, intersections and inadequate lighting.”

Eglington told Isuzu that when Noosa SES required an update to their response vehicle, the choice for reliability and safety was clear.

“Our previous truck was old, heavy and slow, which made our response times slow,” she said.

“We did some research on other vehicles and took some advice from both interstate SES units and companies that fit-out emergency vehicles. The Isuzu NPR 75-190 4x4 was ideal for us with its personnel and equipment-carrying capacity.”

The Isuzu NPR is is reportedly built to operate in rough terrain and is an ideal ‘workhorse’ in a variety of diverse environments. It has a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) of 7,500kg, power of 140kw at 2,600 rpm and a torque of 513nm at 1,600-2,600 rpm.

Storage and access for essential gear and equipment was an important consideration for Noosa SES.

“We’ve been able to fit an onboard generator, compressor, light tower, chain saw workbench for onsite repairs, charging bay for radios and communications, extension ladder drop-down and specialist drawers for all the various equipment needed by our volunteers,” said Eglington.

In addition to providing adequate storage and equipment-carrying capabilities, the Isuzu NPR is said to be straightforward to manoeuvre, which was an important part of Eglington’s purchase decision.

“Manoeuvrability is really important as we’re never sure what type of landscape or weather conditions we’ll find ourselves in,” she said. “Some call-outs we receive place us in narrow roads and driveways, others in rural bush settings which means being able to manoeuvre the truck in tight, confined spaces is very important.”

Isuzu NPR safety features include Anti-Skid Regulator (ASR), Hill Assist and Isuzu’s Electronic Stability Control System (IESC).

In related news, HVP Plantations uses Isuzu commercial vehicles as part of its first responder crews to control fires and extinguish blazes that might threaten its significant resources in pine and eucalypt plantations.

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