AT its core it is a fire truck – or fire tanker, to be precise – capable of carrying four firefighters and 4000 litres to fires in suburbia and in the bush.
But a closer look at the new $310,000 vehicle in operation at the Toronto Fire Station reveals a suite of hi-tech initiatives.
Among them is a cabin crew protection system, known by firefighters as a halo, which sprays water from the top of the vehicle onto the cabin if fire threatens the occupants.
Emergency Services Minister Troy Grant said it was just one of the impressive features of a versatile vehicle designed to boost the brigade’s capacity to deal with fires and other emergencies.
“When it comes to emergency services, you don’t get any more frontline than standing face-to-face with a fire, protecting lives and property,” Mr Grant said.
“That’s exactly why the NSW government remains absolutely committed to ensuring our fireys have the best possible equipment to keep them safe on the job, while helping them do what they do best – protect our local communities.”
Mr Grant said the new multi-purpose Isuzu four-wheel drive enabled firefighters to access fires in difficult terrain.
“It also has a water spray protection system that can be operated from the cabin to best protect crew members during dangerous incidents.”
Another feature of the new vehicle is a mobile data terminal (MDT).
The Lakes Mail saw the MDT in action during Mr Grant’s visit to the station on Wednesday when he officially presented the vehicle to the brigade.
The MDT is a touch-screen tablet which enables firefighters to communicate with colleagues and other emergency services, and to access information on such things as the quickest route to the fire’s location, available hydrants in the area, any chemical concerns at the site, and procedures for dealing with a range of threats.
Captain David Parker said the brigade had been using the tanker for a few weeks and it had quickly proved itself in the field at house fires, hazard reduction burns, and bushfires at Salt Ash.