Appliances

We call the fire engines, trucks and other emergency service vehicles we use "appliances".

Currently we have a fleet of 784 vehicles in use throughout the State. These include tankers, urban pumpers, pumper/tankers, bulk water carriers, rescue and command vehicles.

We aim to replace our appliances before the end of their 20th year in service. Since 2000, we have been replacing appliances with air-conditioned Crew Cab/Chassis.

These Chassis provide a greater level of comfort for volunteers when travelling to and from incidents and during training exercises. This design gives the crew the opportunity to discuss strategies and tactics to use on arrival at the incident and for the Officer to give clear instructions to the crew.

We look for continuous improvement on previous year’s models when specifying new appliances. Each year there may be some variations to the detail of appliances but the basic layout of the lockers and tray area has changed little in recent years.

Tankers

A vehicle designed primarily for firefighting, based on a 4x4 chassis.

Pumpers

A vehicle designed primarily for urban responses including building fires, road crashes, hazardous material spillages, vehicle fires, etc. Usually on a 4x2 chassis and has the ability to carry a more diverse range of equipment.

Combination Tankers/Pumpers

A combination of a pumper and a tanker. This type of appliance has equipment and pump performance to suit building fires, road crashes or hazardous material spillages, vehicle fires, etc., but also maintains off-road ability for rural firefighting. Based on a 4x4 chassis.

Bulk Water Carriers

A vehicle designed primarily for transport of large quantities of water and is used for replenishing water supplies on tankers at the fire ground.

Rescue Vehicles

A vehicle designed primarily for use at road crash rescues and may also carry other types of rescue equipment.

Special Purpose Vehicles

A vehicle designed for any other specific purpose not included above. This may include a specialist hazardous response vehicle or a mobile communications vehicle.

Command Cars A 4x4 station wagon equipped with necessary communications, mapping and incident support material in order to undertake command, control or coordination functions.

Continuous Improvement

We operate in a continuous improvement environment. Our appliances have evolved over time and continue to do so.

Some notable improvements that have been achieved since the 1980's include:

  • Improved crew protection including:
    • Air conditioned dual cab appliances
    • Heat reflective roll down blinds in vehicle cabins
    • Water spray protection for the vehicle cabin
    • Fresh air breathing system for vehicle cabin occupants
    • Improved design of the crew protection system on the rear firefighting platform
  • Improved pumping performance
  • Hose reels mounted above the tray to reduce the incidence of damage from rough terrain
  • All equipment is accessible from ground level, no need to pass items down from the tray
  • Improved emergency vehicle lighting, i.e. Red and Blue lights, headlight flashing system
  • Siren speakers mounted near bumper bar height
  • Electric rewind hose reels
  • Increased hose reel length from 30 metres to 60 metres.
  • Quick release (1/4 turn) hose couplings for small bore hose (25mm)
  • Improved steps for access and egress from the appliance
  • Class A foam systems installed on all firefighting appliances
  • All steps and hand rails etc are coloured safety yellow
  • Radiant heat shielding fitted to protect chassis components from flame
  • Fire protection sleeving to protect critical elements of the chassis from fire
  • Improved ergonomics around appliances in general

In all cases, evolutionary improvements result in improved firefighter safety, either directly (crew protection systems) or indirectly (reduced firefighter fatigue).

Type 34P deploying suppression sprays
Type 34P deploying suppression sprays. The in-cabin thermal blinds can also be seen.

Appliance replacement process

We attempt to maintain an appliance age profile of 20 years maximum and replace appliances approaching or at this age.

The process for purchasing new appliances is conducted via a 'Closed Tender' in which pre-qualified suppliers are invited to tender.  This process occurs over three main parts:

  • Closed Tenders are called for the supply of new cab chassis
  • Closed Tenders are called for the supply of new pumps
  • After we have decided on the chassis´ and pumps, we call for tenders for the construction of appliance bodies.

We use a risk management approach to determine the number and type of appliances that we place in any given fire station. The CFS Standards of Fire and Emergency Cover (SFEC) outlines this approach. The SFEC prescribes a minimum level of volunteer staffing and equipment for each CFS Brigade.

There is recognition that community situations change from time to time and therefore the SFEC incorporates a process that enables CFS Brigades to seek a variation to the SFEC Brigade Prescription. A variation to a Brigade´s prescription may result in an increase in the level of resources provided to that Brigade in order to support the effort to protect the community. SFEC variations must be approved by the CFS Strategic Leadership Group.