Acting Victoria Premier Peter Ryan
State Invests $23 Million To Protect CFA Firefighters
Victor P Taffa
A $23 Million upgrade of CFA trucks is giving Victoria’s firefighters the best chance of surviving burnovers, Acting Premier Peter Ryan said today.
Mr. Ryan today visited Macedon CFA to hand over keys to the brigade’s upgraded tanker, one of 844 CFA vehicles earmarked for vital safety upgrades under the $23 Million Crew Retrofit Program.
“This program is delivering vital safety upgrades to Victoria’s firefighting fleet to reduce the risk of injury to firefighters if trapped in a burnover situation by making it safer to take shelter in the trucks.” Mr. Ryan said.
“These features include radiant heat protective curtains, water-spraying systems, heat-shielding panels and upgraded intercom communication systems.”
Mr. Ryan said about 170 of 844 vehicles had been completed at a cost of approximately $27,000 each.
“About 800 of CFA’s 1,222 brigades will receive upgrades to their appliances, with larger trucks taking priority in the current fire season.” Mr. Ryan said.
Mr. Ryan said the program would upgrade all CFA trucks built prior to 2006 with a capacity of a 1,000 litres of water or more. All vehicles produced after 2006 were already fitted with crew protection systems.
“We saw earlier this week with the truck burnover incident at Stonehaven that CFA firefighters work in dangerous environments with fast-moving and unpredictable conditions.” Mr. Ryan said.
“The addition of these important and effective protective features on all CFA trucks built prior to 2006 will better equip our dedicated crews fighting fires across the state.”
Mr. Ryan praised the enormous contribution of Victoria’s emergency services to protecting lives and property across Victoria.
“The Coalition Government is a proud supporter of Victoria’s 90,000 emergency services volunteers and we are committed to providing modern facilities and equipment to continue the important work they do.” Mr. Ryan said.