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Truganina Pumper-Tanker on the RoadTruganina Pumper-Tanker (try saying that quickly!) is the newest appliance at Truganina.  It is a hybrid vehicle designed to provide the main features of both a Pumper (for fighting structure fires) and a Tanker (for fighting bush and grass fires).  It is our primary appliance for all jobs except grass and bush fires.

It is based on a Hino Ranger Pro 9 4x2 chassis. All the crew ride in the cabin when getting to and from an incident, and like the Tanker the crew can work from the back deck to tackle grass and bush fires.  In this role the 2700 litre tank provides a similar capacity to a tanker, and feeds not only hose lines but also a crew protection system that can blanket the vehicle with water to protect it and the crew should they be cornered or trapped by a fire front.  The sprays are complemented by reflective curtains inside the cab that cover all the windows to minimise heat transmission into the cabin.

Working as a pumper, the Pumper-Tanker's separate diesel power pack drives a powerful pump that can service up to four hoses concurrently as well as a truck mounted "monitor" that can throw water a great distance.  The vehicle is equipped with two types of foam, and carries several different "branches" that allow it to deliver foam in different quantities and consistencies onto the fire. The Pumper-Tanker carries four sets of Breathing Apparatus (BA) with spare cylinders for use at structure fires, and a range of other equipment not on Tankers.  Some of this equipment, including the BA sets can be seen in the photo below.Pumper-Tanker Locker Contents 

Truganina Tanker in its Bay at the StationTruganina's Tanker is the grand old lady of the station.  At around 25 years old, it has seen a long and interesting life, including the Anakie fire of 2006 and the Black Saturday Fires of 2009.

Truganina Tanker is an Isuzu 3.2D series two wheel drive, diesel engined tanker and is the preferred appliance for going off road into the stony paddocks so common in Truganina, Tarneit and further afield. 

It carries 3000 litres of water and has a powerful two stage pump powered by a separate small diesel engine.  The crew of up to three work from the back deck, where hoses are set up to allow mobile attack on a fire from either side of the vehicle. Firefighters on the back deck journey to and from the incident seated in what is known as the ROP which stands for "Roll Over Protection".  New firefighters often find the sensation of riding to their first incidents seated in the ROP an unusual experience - looking backwards over the tank at the traffic behind is something that takes a little getting used to.

In the cab the driver and crew leader navigate, plan and co-ordinate the work, and maintain contact with other units and the incident controller via radio.  

Truganina Tanker returned from a re-fit in the middle of 2013 with Crew Protection Systems fitted and a new "live" reel that will allow us to continue using this vehicle for another few years.

 

The Truganina FCV is a Nissan Navara utility fitted out with multiple radios and assorted other equipment.  In the "Forward Control Vehicle" role from which it takes its name, it acts as the mobile "office" for a Strike Team Leader, who co-ordinates the activities of a group of five (usually) Tankers, when working on large grass or forest fires. The FCV can move more quickly than the tankers, and so will scout the incident and provide reconnaisance and intelligence to the Strike Team as a whole, improving it's effectiveness and co-ordination.

Most of the time the FCV also acts as a station car for ferrying people and equipment, and is also the resource normally used to deliver our Staging Trailer to an incident. This is the reason why Truganina employs a tray top ute as it's FCV, rather than a traditional four wheel drive.  For us cargo space is essential - even with the Incident Support Trailer fully loaded, there is invariably more equipment needed at the fireground (marquees for example) and this vehicle gives us that capacity.  The photo below shows the FCV and the Incident Support Trailer and marquee in a standard setup.

Truganina's Forward Control Vehicle and Incident Support Trailer

Truganina is a specialist brigade in providing staging services at large incidents.  This means we have a number of members specially trained to run the staging areas where vehicles and firefighters are marshalled, serviced, refueled/replenished and rested.  Perhaps the best known of these was the staging area that featured prominently as the back drop in television coverage of the Black Saturday bush fires - the Whittlesea staging area at the town's oval.  This staging area was run in the main by members from Truganina.  To assist us in setting up staging we have a trailer that has been fitted out with all the equipment necessary to start up a staging area including:

 

  • Signs
  • Traffic management equipment
  • Radios, telephone and internet connectivity including a portable antenna mast
  • Equipment for generating and printing maps and diagrams
  • Portable Weather station

 

and much, much more.  The staging trailer can be quickly deployed as a first up response to get a staging area established while larger and more complex resources are mobilised.