Victorian workers are putting the final touches on the first of a brand-new fleet of Country Fire Authority (CFA) tankers, providing volunteer firefighters with the latest equipment they need to help keep communities safe.
Minister for Emergency Services, Jaclyn Symes, today announced the first 20 CFA brigades to receive the new dual cab heavy tankers, which will progressively replace existing single-cab heavy tankers.
The first allocation of new tankers will head to brigades in Inglewood, Shoreham, Dunkeld, Buninyong, Mansfield, Gisborne, Poowong, Penshurst, Ballan, Wangaratta, Caroline Springs, Hastings, Noorat, Creswick, Seymour, Junortoun, Moorooduc, Beaufort, Wallan and Irymple.
The first tankers will begin being delivered to brigades for commissioning and training as soon as next month and are all expected to be on the road by mid 2022, with the full new fleet to be operational in 2023.
The Andrews Labor Government invested $23 million to deliver 48 new heavy tankers and two new light tankers for the CFA, which will soon start rolling out across Victoria.
This was part of a $126 million investment in the CFA to make sure volunteers have access to the best training, facilities and equipment when they turn out to keep Victorians safe.
The full package, which is being rolled out over five years, delivers new training, facilities and appliances for volunteer firefighters across the state, as well as initiatives to support retention and recruitment of members.
Thanks to its multilayered crew protection system, the tankers will be able to withstand fire temperatures of more than 600 degrees Celsius during burn overs.
Other features of the new tankers include electronic monitors, electric rewind hose reels and modern cab chassis enhancements, such as automatic transmission, Anti-lock Braking System and higher levels of emissions controls.
The heavy tankers are being built right here in Victoria with the contract securing 20 jobs at Sunshine North manufacturer R.A Bell & Co (Bell Fire and Rescue) – including in engineering design, plastic and metal fabrication, assembly, electrical programming and final fit-off.
“With its dual cab features and life-saving crew protection systems, these new CFA tankers will ensure our volunteer firefighters have the latest equipment, and best protection to do their vital work,” said Symes.
“Victoria is one of the most fire prone areas in the world and these new tankers will help support communities and firefighters stay safe across the state for many years to come.
“We’re delivering record funding for our fire services to keep communities safe, while supporting local manufacturing and local jobs.”