Firefighting Appliance Strategy
Production of appliances continued against the Board-approved five-year appliance strategy program, which is due to be completed on 30 June 2009. As the program is in its fourth year production rates have increased, with 87 completed by 30 June 2008.
Several innovative designs of appliances were developed with trials being completed for heavy pumpers, medium tankers and pumper tankers.
Production runs for these units have now been approved. In addition, the first production unit of a light pumper design is due for completion in the first quarter of 2008-09, with the remaining production run of 24 to be completed by 30 June 2009.
Orders have also been placed for two 42-metre aerial ladder platforms and two hazardous material appliances. Planned production of 27 light tankers did not proceed, due to the higher than anticipated cost of production exceeding the allocated budget. Accordingly, the funds were redirected to produce an additional 10 medium tankers, 6 heavy tankers and the development of a new design light tanker concept prototype unit has commenced.
The light tanker concept unit will feature remote control monitors, an ultra high pressure pump and other features which will focus on improved firefighting efficiency, minimised water usage and improved ergonomics and safety enhancements for firefighters. The prototype is due for completion by 1 January 2009.
Firefighting Appliance Program
During 2007-08, 87 appliances were completed and expenditure on appliance programs for the year totalled $27 million, including appliances delivered via the Community Safety Emergency Support Program (CSESP). The appliances manufactured are as follows:
- 51 heavy tankers model 3.4C - 3,000 litre, 4WD (includes 4 CSESP units)
- 20 medium tankers model 2.4C - 2,000 litres, 4WD
- 11 light tankers - 1,500 litre single cab, 4WD, CSESP units
- one heavy pumper - 4,000 litre per minute pump capacity
- one mobile communications van
- one rapid deployment module (Dandenong - majority brigade funded)
- one heavy rescue appliance
- one medium pumper tanker.
Community Safety Emergency Support Program
The CSESP is a program under the Victorian Government's Community Support Fund to assist eligible emergency service volunteer organisations. CFA's share of the CSESP funding has been focused on providing brigades with assistance to replace existing aged brigade-owned tankers or to acquire new tankers, vehicles or equipment.
Since its inception in August 2000, CSESP programs have involved CFA in the following:
- CFA brigades received $9.5 million from a total CSESP funding pool of $15.5 million available to the participating agencies.
- CFA contributed a further $8.1 million to assist brigades replace aged brigade-owned tankers and the brigades also provided contribution towards the costs.
- A total of 1,214 applications for assistance were received by CFA, with 313 brigades successful to date.
The successful CSESP projects have delivered significant capability to CFA brigades:
- 56 heavy tankers
- 5 medium tankers
- 51 light tankers
- 52 slip-on appliances
- 26 specialist vehicles
- 55 cars
- 64 ancillary equipment projects.
The remaining two heavy tankers and five medium tankers approved from CSESP3 Round 1 were out to tender at the end of the reporting period. The three light tankers from this round were in production and are due to be completed by the end of October 2008. The field operations vehicle is due for delivery mid September 2008.
It is anticipated that the Minister will announce CSESP 3 Round 2 in 2008-09.
Land and Buildings Program
In line with the five-year rolling land and building program 23 projects were completed in 2007-08 including the delivery of 18 new and refurbished integrated, urban and rural fire stations. Another 18 building projects were progressed in 2007-08 for future year programs. The 2007-08 land and building program, including funding for the Labor Financial Statement (LFS) 'Ready for any Emergency' and the additional operational staff programs, included work to the value of $21.98 million.
Major projects completed during the year included new fire stations at:
- Ocean Grove
- Gorae West
- Newlyn Dean
- Cobram East/Boosey
- Stuart Mill
Refurbishments or extensions to stations were completed at:
- Browns Plains
In this first year of the four-year LFS sub-program Reefton and Badger Creek Fire Stations were completed. Construction commenced at the following fire stations:
- Geelong West
- Christmas Hills
Projects developed for planned release of tenders early in 2008-09 include works for fire stations at:
- Geelong City
- Halls Gap
- Mitta Mitta.
Projects in 2007-08 on the infrastructure program supporting the deployment of additional operational staff included the completion of the Mornington and Melton Fire Stations and the major refurbishments of the Sunbury and Craigieburn Fire Stations. These projects completed all planned works under this program.
Major land acquisitions were completed in 2007-08 including sites at:
- Geelong West
- Violet Town
A number of additional sites for rural fire stations were purchased or leased.
Office Accommodation Planning
In 2007-08 project planning and documentation for the new Ballarat emergency management office was progressed to allow commencement of construction in 2008-09. Office accommodation planning was also undertaken during the year for the CFA Headquarters at Burwood East with a range of options being evaluated for future needs following the expiry of current office leases at the end of 2009. CFA has been coordinating with ESTA (a co-tenant at Burwood East) on office accommodation planning options that consider the needs of both agencies.
Personal Protective Clothing
This program will enable the replacement of protective ensembles for qualified CFA structural firefighters. The ensembles employ the latest textile technologies to deliver garments that meet and exceed Australian Standards for Structural Firefighting Apparel. Design and contractual issues associated with the rollout program are substantially complete and the program will commence to the 100 busiest brigades, by incident response, in 2008-09.
State Logistics Centre
The opening of CFA's State logistics centre (SLC) in July 2007 at Knoxfield provided a major boost in the support for brigades and regions. The SLC provides ongoing support for operational consumables and logistics to both CFA's regional operations and major incidents across the State, particularly during the summer fire danger period. The range of goods supplied through the SLC has increased and in many cases reduced the lead times from suppliers. Using a common information technology logistics control system across all regional offices, the SLC provides a next-day delivery across the State for all warehoused items.
During the fire danger period the SLC has increased its preparedness, by storing a number of potential high demand items such as hydrate, water, hose, and fittings. This enables the SLC to react quickly in the support of any major incidents throughout the state.