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Council requests upgrade of outdated firefighting trucks

By Sally McGlew 

THE Shire of Mundaring will write to both the Emergency Services Minister and the Commissioner for the Department of Emergency Services seeking an upgrade to outdated firefighting equipment.

The outgoing vice chairman of the Stoneville and Parkerville Progress Association (SPPA), Greg Jones, said he welcomed the initiative which sprang from the annual electors meeting in March 2021.

“It was a very positive and practical approach,” Mr Jones said, after he attended the June Mundaring ordinary council meeting.

“There is a five-year lag in the building programme, and it could be 10 years or more before these 1000-litre vehicles are replaced.

“They have water for fire suppression or water for crew protection but not both.”

Mr Jones said residents were concerned that bigger fires and climate change means firefighters need to be protected and water capacity needs to be improved and since they pay the Emergency Services Levy they would like to see the money spent to protect their firefighters.

The Shire of Mundaring has four 1000-litre capacity fire trucks, based in Stoneville, Glen Forrest, Sawyers Valley and Darlington.

They are all overdue for an upgrade.

Cr Ian Green said the safety of the Shire of Mundaring crews was paramount.

“We need to look at a whole range of safety issues for the crew,” he said.

“None of our existing fleet has deluge systems.

“The light tankers will be emptied before the deluge system is activated.”

Shire of Mundaring Manager Community Safety and Emergency Management Adrian Dyson said all the fleet should be turned over by 2023/2026.

“The items listed should have been replaced by a 4000-litre tanker in the 2017/18 financial year.”

Cr Doug Jeans said at least one new fire tanker (R4) needed to be budgeted for and the letter to the Minister needed the government to commit to existing commitments as a minimum.

“Those commitments have not been fulfilled,” he said.

The alternative motion was fully supported by council and takes the community a step closer to replacing the 3 x 1000 litre (1.4R) fire tankers with 3,000 or 4,000 litre fire tankers fitted with deluge spray burn over protection for improved crew safety, as the 1,000 litre (1.4R) fire tankers do not have any water supply for deluge sprays and contain a limited amount of water for fire suppression only.

Department of Fire and Emergency Services Assistant Commissioner Asset Management Peter Curran said five out of six firefighting vehicles (625L)  in Mundaring’s  fleet scheduled to be replaced in 2018, will be delivered this year.

Mr Curran said a further two urban tankers, each with a 3000L water capacity are schedule for 2021/22.

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