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Central West Queensland since 1923
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3 August, 2020

Councillors introduced to Fire Brigade's heavy hitter

LONGREACH councillors were given an extensive tour of the town’s 96-year-old fire station by the local fire brigade last month, including an in-depth look at Kilo, the new $800,000 fire-fighting support weapon.

By Hamish Hart

Safety comes first…(from left) Longreach Regional Council Mayor Tony Rayner, Councillor Trevor Smith, and local firefighter Jaimee Worland check out Kilo’s equipment at the town fire station.

Kilo is one of eight similar vehicles located in Queensland, with three based in Brisbane and one each in Gladstone, Rockhampton, Emerald, Mackay and Longreach.

Longreach Fire Station Captain, Robert Carr, said the firetruck was ironically named due to its focus on heavy-vehicle rescue rather than firefighting and was equipped with advanced safety equipment such as heavy spreaders, an on-board air compressor, and two 50-tonne jacks.

“This truck is not a firetruck as such. For example, it has no water storage facility on board,” Mr Carr said. “We can use our other trucks for firefighting and this truck is used as backup.

“The fire station has an obligation to the Longreach Regional Council to protect the town and its people and to provide backup for surrounding areas.

“The fact we’ve got a good social club really helps the station. There is a real camaraderie during training and our recruits grow in confidence every day.”

Acting Inspector of Queensland Fire and Rescue Services, Paul Hart, said the truck would provide the same level of safety available in major cities and stressed that training new staff on how to operate the vehicle was critical.

“The equipment on this truck is state of the art,” Insp. Hart said. “A lot of people use the term lightly, but the equipment on this truck is truly incredible.

“The truck is fitted with a 4G router with hotspot, UHF, VHF, computer and printer to take command and control at the scene. All of the equipment is mobile and considerably better than the standard equipment in our other trucks.

“These men and women are road-crash rescue trained, but do not know how to operate the vehicle. One of the biggest things we need to do now is train our staff.

“It can respond effectively to heavy rescue operations which is by far the greatest risk here in the Central West. It should be comforting to our people that this truck is exactly the same to those in Brisbane.

“What they are doing in Brisbane, we are doing right here in Longreach and the Central West.”

Longreach Regional Council Mayor Tony Rayner applauded the fire station following the presentation. “On behalf of the Longreach Shire Council, to our fellow locals here, we respect your service,” Cr Rayner said.

“This technology is very much appreciated and we can feel safe and assured by what we have here in Longreach, and what the truck has to offer.”

The Longreach Fire Brigade has been servicing the community since its establishment in 1924.


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