The Andrews Labor Government is rolling out a new fleet of state-of-the-art heavy tanker firefighting trucks ahead of the upcoming summer fire season.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said the new fleet of ‘Unimogs’ is part of the Labor Government’s $32 million upgrade of Victorian firefighting vehicles.
The Unimog is an all-terrain vehicle housed on a Mercedes Benz Unimog cab chassis and is fitted-out with equipment designed for Forest Fire Management Victoria’s firefighting and planned burning needs.
It will become a core fire-fighting heavy tanker – featuring exceptional off-road capabilities and a range of safety features including:
- in-vehicle hose monitors
- a cabin deluge system for crew protection
- fire curtains
- a unique Falling Object Protection System.
The Unimogs have a water-carrying capacity of 4,000 litres and are built to accommodate four firefighters – double the capacity of the existing heavy tanker.
Final vehicle design and composition followed a comprehensive field testing program of different types of vehicles, terrain and equipment.
Forest firefighting crews will have 21 Unimogs at their disposal this fire season, marking the first stage of the roll-out of a new heavy tanker fleet. A further 20 vehicles are due to join the fleet in 2018.
The Unimog project has also created 34 jobs within Quik Corp, who oversaw the fire appliance body builds, with nearly half of the jobs going to redundant workers from the car and manufacturing industries.
The Unimog upgrade is in addition to the overhaul of the ultra-light firefighting fleet over the next three years.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“These state-of-the-art vehicles were designed right here in Victoria to keep our communities as well as our brave forest firefighters safe this summer.”
“These vehicles will be critical in fire suppression, planned burns, emergency response, as well road network and recreation site maintenance.”