Light Attack Prototype

We can’t find where a charity has previously given 1 fire truck away for free and on Saturday at the RFBAQ General Meeting,  8 LandCruiser Light Attack fire trucks were allocated to 8 brigades that do not have a truck and the G-Wagon allocation will cascade to a brigade in South West RFSQ Region.


A group photo from the weekend's General Meeting, including two of the LandCruisers. Also Burketown RFBs Heavy Attack, which is only a couple of months away from completion!
 
Each truck is fully funded by donations from business and a very generous public and each truck will become the property of the individual Rural Fire Brigade and not the Government.
 
The RFBAQ received 16 applications from truckless brigades across Queensland who would like to improve their community defence abilities. The RFBAQ will supply these applications to the State Government and start advocating for an increased truck build programme. Each application was written and endorsed by the local RFSQ Inspector using the appropriate Government template for additional equipment. 
 
The very worthy brigades who will receive a donated fire truck are – listed by gravity. (North to South)
 
  • Fassio Road Rural Fire Brigade is a Primary Producer brigade in the Mareeba Shire. The brigade has 13 firefighters and a total of 28 members. Current equipment is 6 mop up units and a trailer. Fassio Road RFB area incorporates the Hann Tableland National Park, which adjoins a large fruit and small cropping area to the north west of Mareeba. The Brigade is active in supporting mitigation strategies with the associated landowners. Fassio Road is also highly active in supporting Paddy's Green and Biboohra RFB's as the closest neighbours, responding to fires and contributing to planned burns.

 

  • Bilyana Rural Fire Brigade is a Primary Producer brigade in the Cassowary Coast Regional Council area. The brigade has 10 firefighters and a total of 20 members. Current equipment is 3 mop up units and a trailer. The brigade is active in supporting QPWS and HQP with their annual regime for managing fuel loads on local and neighbouring estates. This work is ideally suited to light attack size appliances and often requires vehicles with sound ability to traverse the local landscape. Bilyana's immediate district is largely all primary production land (cane and bananas) and mostly level / low lying however the brigade is active in supporting operations further afield to assist neighbours with fire threats.

 

  • Bowen River Rural Fire Brigade is a Primary Producer brigade in the Whitsunday Regional Council Area. The brigade has 12 firefighters and a total of 16 members. Current equipment is 2 mop-up units. This Brigade has a very large area of operation. The allocation of the appliance would contribute to supporting the community not only in fires but in other emergencies in the community.  The Bowen River Brigade are very active within the community of both Collinsville and Whitsunday regional council area. The brigade will respond to cyclones, floods, fires and any other events within their capability of skills.

 

  • Ogmore Rural Fire Brigade is a Primary Producer brigade in the Livingstone Shire Council area. The brigade has 18 firefighters and a total of 25 members. Current equipment is 4 mop-up units and 3 trailers. The location is about 120 km north of Rockhampton and has Bruce Highway frontage of about 34 km on both sides. It includes the township of Ogmore which straddles the North Coast rail line. The posted speed limit on the Bruce Highway through the brigade area is 110 km/hr. There are frequent incidents/accidents arising as a result, often from wheel bearing failures (overheating) and collisions with straying wildlife, high speed rollovers and collisions. Currently the brigade's only means of communication is by mobile phone (sometimes patchy) and their own UHF/CB vehicle sets. Brigade members are becoming increasingly reluctant to attend highway related incidents because of safety issues surrounding their attendance. The brigade does not have one flashing light bar to their name to warn traffic of their operations in the smoke along the highway.

 

  • Kunwarara Rural Fire Brigade (will receive the 8th Landcruiser that is in the process of being fundraised by tax deductible donation). Kunwarara Primary Producer brigade is in the Livingstone Shire Council Area. The brigade has 8 firefighters and a total of 20 members. Current equipment is 3 mop-up units and 2 trailers. Kunwarara currently responds to all fire calls using privately paid and maintained 4x4 vehicles with slip-ons. Some of the major fires in the area have all been responded using these vehicle however they are finding it increasingly harder due availability and capability to use on the fire ground given they are not equipped with Crew protection devices, nor do they have emergency lighting that is safe to use in all occasions along a busy highway. Current maintenance costs for these vehicles is being covered by the limited funding the brigade has and most time individual members are fuelling up pumps and the vehicles at their own expense.

 

  • Coalstoun Lakes Rural Fire Brigade is a Primary Producer brigade in the North Burnett Regional Council area. The brigade has 22 firefighters and a total of 30 members. Current equipment is 5 mop-up units, 2 trailer units and a medium attack that is shared by 5 local brigades and is located in Biggenden. This brigade is very proactive within their community conducting Hazard Reduction Burns,covering terrain that is mountainous with extinct volcanoes which makes access an issue. Currently the brigade have two trailer units that get responded first due to the members not having unload their utes of their farming tools and equipment, followed by the slip on units.

 

  • Wetlands Rural Fire Brigade is a Primary Producer brigade in the Maranoa Regional Council area. The brigade has 41 firefighters and a total of 44 members. Current equipment is 7 mop-up units. The Wetlands RFB incorporates Attica State Forest, Chelsteron State Forest and Koolbellup State Forest. All of these have very limited fire management over the last 20+ years. The terrain is a mixture of about 30% undulating developed country, with the balance being undulating to very rough and steep, thickly timbered forest type country, mostly of sandy type soil. Effective fire control and mitigation can only be achieved at the moment by using private 4x4 vehicles, graders, dozers etc. The brigade area consists of absentee landowners through carbon farming and the area's fuel loads and risk has increased dramatically. The brigade regularly assists QPWS and local community with fire activity in the Carnarvon Ranges.

 

  • Oman Ama Rural Fire Brigade is a Primary Producer brigade in the Goondiwindi Regional Council area. The brigade has 6 firefighters and a total of 25 members. Current equipment is 1 mop-up unit. They are also extensively involved with major commercial operators and landowners for fire response and mitigation activities. The brigade currently utilises privately owned firefighting equipment to manage fire in the landscape but due to the increased level of expected response by the community an appliance is sought. This strategic location will fill a void in the fleet profile between Karara and Inglweood on the Cunningham Highway. Due to the nature of the vegetation and soil types a light attack appliance would be best suited to this location.

 

  • Bymount Rural Fire Brigade (will receive the G-Wagon cascaded vehicle allocation) is a Primary Producer brigade in the Maranoa Regional Council area. The brigade has 47 firefighters and a total of 63 members. Current equipment is 6 mop up units. The Bymount RFB sits adjacent to the Carnarvon Highway approximately 60km north of Roma and 30km south of Injune. The brigade has a large membership of active members who regularly respond to incidents in their own and neighbouring areas using the RFS supplied slip-on units. Over the years a number of fires have occurred along the Carnarvon Hwy, with increasing traffic this the occurrence of these types of incidents will continue to increase. Given the distance to supporting brigades and appliances the brigade typically operates on their own for some time before backup arrives. There are areas of bushfire risk in and around Injune a township of approximately 450 persons. The Auxiliary Brigade located in town is struggling for numbers (presently only 1 active member). Bymount RFB regularly participate in HRB's to protect the town. The provision of a Light Attack would allow them to be even more proactive in supporting local communities in both preparedness and response.
 
# Of note is that the Roma RFSQ area has 154 Rural Fire Brigades and currently only 1 Light Attack. The allocation of the 2 Light Attacks by the RFBAQ will increase this section on the fleet by 200%. There are 15 Medium attacks in the Roma Area.
 
The RFBAQ would like to thank the below donors who made these 9 fire trucks possible.
 
Sunshine Coast Broadcasting Trust
Goldburg Family Foundation
Warren Kelly
Justin Choveaux
Queensland Rail
David McMullen
Matt Corner
News Corp Australia
McDonalds Australia
 

The RFBAQ will be modifying the 6 existing LandCruiser prototypes to incorporate brigade feedback on design and the Landcruisers will hopefully be handed over to the brigade by the local RFBAQ Rep within the next 2 months.

If you would like to donate towards the Kunawarra Rural Fire Brigade LandCruiser where 100% of the donation goes into building a truck and receive a tax deductible receipt please click here.
 

Distribution of LandCruiser applications

(Green successful, yellow unsuccessful)



APPLICATIONS HAVE NOW CLOSED

Thank you to all brigades that applied. Applications are being reviewed and the final decision will be made at our upcoming General Meeting, held 11th - 13th September 2020.



Are you a Rural Fire Brigade without a truck?
Monday, 6 Jul 2020

Have you voted that you want to be a truck brigade?

If this is you, get onto your local RFBAQ Representative or your local RFSQ Area Office and get them to help you fill out  - OBM-143
 
The RFBAQ have 6 Toyota LandCruiser light attack fire trucks to give away to truckless brigades free of charge.
 
We are also in the process of fundraising for a 7th LandCruiser to give away.
(Want to donate to build a LandCruiser? - https://rfbaq.org/7thcruiser )
 
All vehicles will be fueled, maintained and insured by RFSQ,  but ownership will stay with the lucky brigades. – RFBM_D5_2 
 
Applications close on the 1st of September 2020.
 
How do I contact my local RFBAQ elected Representative? - https://rfbaq.org/reps 



Friday, 1 May 2020

The 1st of the 6 RFBAQ prototype light attacks has been delivered with the other 5 coming over the next 3 months.

We would like brigade feedback that will help the RFBAQ and RFSQ develop the final design that brigades will be able to source in agreement with RFSQ. Feedback forms available to download and print here.
 
Please have a look at the video that describes why a LandCruiser, who the vehicle was designed for, the trial vehicle telematics system, the new Brigade Owned Vehicle policy, the feedback forms and how brigades without a fire truck can apply for a RFBAQ funded LandCruiser. 
Applications need to be in the form of a business plan developed by the brigade in conjunction with your local RFSQ Inspector and RFBAQ Elected Representative (your local RFSQ Inspector has the template.)
 

Watch the video below for all the info!

 
 
Technical drawings:
               
 
As the vehicles come off the production line and COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, these trucks will be available across Queensland to brigades for feedback through your local RFBAQ elected representative. 
 
Want to know where the trucks are and where they will be next? – follow them on facebook  - RFBAQ - LandCruiser Light Attack Prototype


6 x  Toyota Light Attacks for Brigades that do not have a fire truck.

100% funded by donations to the RFBAQ.

Applications close 1st September 2020

Applications assessed and brigades notified RFBAQ General Meeting mid-September 2020.

Applications need to be in the form of a business plan developed by the brigade in conjunction with your local RFSQ Inspector and RFBAQ Elected Representative (your local RFSQ Inspector has the template.)

Vehicle will be the property of the Rural Fire Brigade and when disposed of in 20 years will be at the discretion of the brigade with funds retained by the brigade. (this is due to there being no government or QFES money in the vehicle build)

Vehicle will be on fleet, fueled and insured by QFES once gifted to brigade.

Any questions  - please call 0428 218 507.


Background and resolution of the RFBAQ State Executive September 2019.

‘The RFBAQ produce 6 fit for task light attack vehicle built on a Landcruiser chassis. That these RFBAQ prototype be showcased to brigades for ideas and feedback and that after display at the 2020 LGAQ Annual Conference, the vehicles be given as a grant to brigades that does not currently have vehicles and are in great need of a robust light attack.’


Background

Problem - There is no purpose-built light attack for Rural Fire Brigades in Queensland.

Outcome – Brigades can choose from a Ford Ranger space cab with mop up unit or Toyota Landcruiser purpose built light attacks.

Problem - The QFES will not grow the rural fire fleet into brigades that do not currently have a fire truck.

Outcome - Focus the conversation onto communities that have a need for a fire truck to be able to better defend themselves; provide 6 communities with a fire truck.

Problem - The consultation process regarding prototype vehicle design is not transparent in its feedback.

Outcome – Create and demonstrate a best practice vehicle design consultation process that engages with brigades in the field and has an open and transparent feedback and design improvement process while providing education to brigades on what is possible and feasible.

Problem – QFES acknowledgment of brigade owned vehicle status and the disposal of vehicles and retention of the funds by the brigade owners.

Outcome – As agreed in legal status with QFES, brigade owned equipment is equipment that does not have $1 of State Money. This includes equipment provided by the RFBAQ. At the end of 20 years the brigade will be able to dispose of the asset and use the funds towards another brigade activity.

Problem – QFES fire trucks are disposed of by PSBA and the RFBAQ has received complaints that the local fire trucks are not staying in the local area.

Outcome – Brigade can dispose of vehicle into local community to increase the amount of firefighting equipment in the community.

Problem – Lack of desire to spend the money to grow the fleet or vary the type of vehicle produced outside of existing designs.

Outcome – Collate list of brigades without any fire trucks and have a need of a vehicle for community defence. Collate types of vehicles identified and work with RFSQ to meet identified need.

Problem – Sections within QFES regarding vehicle design ignore the Brigades, the RFBAQ and RFSQ Paid Staff and go slow on other matters they are directed to undertake.

Outcome – Go around the blockage by owning process in conjunction with the Brigades, the RFBAQ and RFSQ Paid Staff.

 

Proposal

Proposition is to build 6 Light Attack Prototypes on a Landcruiser Chassis.

Each prototype will be assigned to a region, with SER and Brisbane Region sharing 1 prototype.

The feedback/engagement phase concludes at the 2020 RFBAQ AGM in mid-September.

5 prototypes will be distributed; 1 per region to brigades that do not currently have a fire appliance yet and have a demonstrated community defence need.

The 6th prototype will be held to go to the LGAQ Annual Conference in mid-October, and until the conclusion of the State Election where it will be granted to the worthiest brigade who applied in the initial 5 prototype round.

 

Production Timeline

Production deadline for the 1st vehicle will be March 2020 with the other 5 vehicles to follow within the month.

May – August – Regional testing and brigade feedback

1st September – close of Grant Applications from Brigades that do not have a fire truck

RFBAQ AGM – distribution of 5 trucks



Engagement Circuit

  • 2 volunteer summits -April/May 2020
  • LGAQ – Mid October 2020
  • RFBAQ AGM – Mid September 2020
  • State Election – Saturday, 31 October 2020
  • RFBAQ Election – March - September
  • Local Gvt Election - Saturday, 28 March 2020



Inclusions

Trucks will have:

  • RFBAQ Rego
  • RFBAQ Insurance
  • RFBAQ Fuel card
  • RFBAQ Decals
  • Thuraya SatSleeve Hotspot

When the trucks are handed over to brigades the Rego, Insurance, Fuel Card and Decals will be removed in favour of RFSQ signage, fuel cards and insurance.

 

Recommendation 77:  That vehicles are fit for the purpose and the Brigade locality for which they are intended.  A group of two volunteers, in conjunction with the Rural Fire Brigades Association of Queensland, should be charged with reviewing current models and providing recommendations on vehicle suitability.

During the consultation phase the Review Team encountered many stories from volunteers about the unsuitability of vehicles for local operations. Some of these examples bordered on the ridiculous. Indeed at the meeting held with volunteers at Ripley Valley one Brigade truck turned up with parts of its plastic bumper melted having come too close to fire.

Complaints regarding the appliances being constructed for Brigades include that many of the new trucks are too big, requiring a heavy vehicle license to drive them and that they lack the four-wheel drive capability of smaller vehicles which had previously been available.

Many believe the trucks currently being built have sacrificed off-road and fire fighting capacity for water carrying and crew seating. In other words they are not practical for the purposes of rural brigades, which often fight fire with fire in the bush. Volunteers also saw the many gadgets now appearing on today’s vehicles as being unnecessary for their purpose.

The decision on the type of vehicle required for an area should come from the volunteers in close consultation with the District. Certainly the type of vehicle required for Izone Brigade requirements is going to be different to that of Village brigades responding to vegetation fires but the volunteers should have input into this.


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