FIGHTING FIRE IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA WITH ISUZU AND THE SACFS
17 January 2012
Around 250 Isuzu trucks are providing the volunteer fire fighters
in the South Australian Country Fire Service (SACFS) with fast,
reliable and safe emergency response capabilities as they protect
lives and property throughout the state.
Fire fighting in rural South Australia has come a long way since
the introduction of State Government legislation in 1847 to
prohibit the careless use of fire.
In colonial times, fire suppression was left to local residents who
would band together to fight fires as they arose without any formal
organisation or authority.
Fast forward just over 150 years and the SACFS, with its volunteer
force of 15,000 members, is as strong as ever.
Today it performs as an all-hazards agency fighting all types of
fires, attending road crashes, hazardous material response and
other emergency incidents, equipped with the latest equipment,
technology and training.
As part of its commitment to staying on top of the emergency
response threat, the SACFS acquires approximately 35 new trucks
each year for deployment as direct fire attack, other emergency
response or support vehicles which have predominately been Isuzus
for the past twelve years.
SACFS Manager Vehicles and Equipment, Sandy Paterson, says each
truck is prepared for use in the field with a number of
modifications that are dependent on their individual purpose.
"The safety of our crews is paramount, so one of the most important
things is the installation of heat shielding in the cabs and
additional fire protection on critical areas such as pneumatic,
hydraulic and electrical lines," Sandy said.
"Custom-built fire appliance bodies are fitted to the chassis of
each truck and, depending on the model, the rear bench seat will be
replaced with four comfortable bucket seats with integral
three-point seat belts fitted."
When they're in the field, the SACFS volunteers need to feel
confident that their trucks can get them out of tough situations -
lives can depend on it. That's where the reliability of Isuzu
trucks is most valued.
"Our trucks would only do a very low average of around 2,000
kilometres each year, often with extended idling and always fully
loaded for immediate call dispatch," Sandy said.
"For us it's all about reliability. It's of 110 per cent importance
when the lives of a crew can depend on their vehicle."
The bulk of recent Isuzu acquisitions by the CFS have been FTS 800
dual cabs and FVZ 1400s. The former are used primarily as direct
fire attack vehicles with a 3,000 litre water capacity and the
latter as support trucks hauling up to 13,000 litres of
Sandy said a range of factors was taken into consideration when
purchasing new trucks for the SACFS fleet, with the final selection
being made by a State Government procurement panel in accordance
with government procurement guidelines.
"The decision is assessed on the truck being fit-for-purpose, its
value for money, delivery times, warranty and serviceability, to
name a few," he said.
"Isuzu met and in some cases exceeded our criteria in these
categories and we also have a very good relationship with our local
For further information, please contact:
Isuzu Australia Limited
Phone: 03 9644 6666
For Isuzu Truck releases and photos:
Phone: 03 9867 5611