Seven high-tech communications trucks worth more than $300,000 each are being deployed across the state to improve communications during major incidents and emergencies.
CFA’s new Field Operations Vehicles will be set up at large scale incidents – such as bushfires and factory fires, to allow better communications between the fireground and incident control centres.
CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson said the state-of-the-art vehicles will relay high-quality information from anywhere in the state.
“CFA’s new field operations vehicles will provide incident controllers with real-time information from the fireground, and decisions made in the incident control centre can now be fed back to the field instantly,” Mr Ferguson said.
“I have no doubt these new trucks will prove to be a great advancement in fireground communications.”
“Our crews will be able to run their emergency response from the vehicle, or use it as a central communications point between the incident and control centres across the state.
As well as improved communications, field operations vehicles will provide crews with instant access to CFA’s computer networks, fire maps and printing facilities, an on-board weather station, and the versatile vehicles can also be used as a health monitoring station.
“Faster information leads to quicker decisions, from sharing information with our crews on the ground all the way to providing more timely warnings for our communities,” CO Ferguson said.
When in operation the vehicles will be positioned well behind the fireground and testing at Australian Defence Force facilities shows they’re capable of operating in temperatures of over 55 degrees celsius.
“The field operations vehicles have advanced technology on board but have been built with emergencies in mind – they’re very easy to use.
“They can safely operate for over 12 hours on a full tank of diesel and another three hours on the emergency batteries if mains power isn’t available.”
The vehicles have been delivered to Bairnsdale, Golden Square, Inverloch, Mildura, Nillumbik Group and Wendouree, and will be ready for action over the coming months after brigades have received training. Moe South Brigade is expected to receive its in the coming weeks.