For the first time a locally built Scania medium pumper will be put to the test by the Fire and Rescue Service of Western Australia.
Emergency Services Minister Bob Wiese said the new $375,000 fire appliance was of world-class standard and the product of team work and commitment by WA firefighters and the local community.
Commissioning the new pumper at the Bedford Fire Station, Mr Wiese said the vehicle was a credit to the designers and staff at WA Fire Appliances in Narrogin.
"All Western Australians will benefit from this achievement, not only from the capabilities that this high quality vehicle is able to perform, but from the cash injection it brings the WA economy," he said.
"The fact that this firefighting and rescue vehicle has been built in rural WA is positive proof that it is possible to successfully establish a manufacturing industry outside the metropolitan area."
Mr Wiese said this latest edition to the $22 million fleet of the Fire and Rescue Service of WA was the first of two medium pumpers to be built in WA. Over the past 12 months another eight similar appliances - which were built in Victoria - had been put in service throughout the greater Perth metropolitan area.
He said the design of the new medium pumper was an effective tool against urban bush fires, because it came equipped with a pump-and-roll facility that allowed firefighters to drive the vehicle and run a hose at the same time.
"Previously firefighters had to park the vehicle, lay out all the hose available, and then fight the fire from that point," the Minister said.
"With this style of medium pumper, firefighters are unrestricted in their fight against metropolitan scrub, bush and grass fires."
Mr Wiese said the vehicles were also better equipped to handle vehicle rescues with a hydraulic power source that enabled firefighters to use heavy duty rescue tools away from the appliance.
"Another feature is the airbag suspension system which will assist in road handling and provide greater comfort for the crew," he said.
The Minister said the new medium pumper was part of a vehicle replacement program for the Fire and Rescue Service of WA, which started at the beginning of the year and would continue over the next few years until all medium pumpers had been replaced or upgraded.
Media contact: Mark Thompson 322 2311: 015 992 996