The latest lifesaving equipment to help protect Western Australian firefighters was recently unveiled by Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis, with brigades operating in high risk bushfire areas in the Great Southern taking priority for installation.
Speaking at the 2015 Western Australian Fire and Emergency Services Conference, Mr Francis said the new measures are designed to help firefighters if they become trapped by fire while in their vehicles. They include external water deluge systems, in-cab air breathing systems and protection for vital equipment such as vehicle wiring, water and fuel lines.
"These new systems are part of an ongoing crew protection project that's providing a safer working environment for volunteer and career firefighters," Mr Francis said.
A/Commissioner Lloyd Bailey said the crew protection equipment will be installed in nearly 1,000 Fire and Emergency Services and local government firefighting vehicles.
“Firefighters help to protect WA communities each bushfire season and these measures are being taken in recognition of the risks they face whenever they respond to a bushfire incident,” A/Commissioner Bailey said.
“The initiative aims to mitigate risks where possible and create a safer working environment for fire and emergency services personnel and volunteers.
“The project, which is currently in its second phase, has already seen 3,700 burnover blankets installed and 883 firefighting appliances fitted with radiant heat shields, which deflect heat.”
The third and final phase of the project is set to commence in 2016 with the installation of an advanced vehicle locating system for appliances.
The $15.4 million crew protection project was made possible by a $12.3 million investment over three years through the State Government's Royalties for Regions program.