AFAC – A MOBILE WEAPON IN THE FIGHT AGAINST BUSHFIRES

The Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authority Council (AFAC) will be holding this year’s conference, AFAC17, in Sydney at the International Convention Centre Sydney in Darling Harbour, from 4-7 September.

Over 2,500 emergency management professionals will converge to hear about the latest in bushfire and hazard research as well as visit the more than 160 exhibitions. Joining AFAC once again will be Isuzu Trucks and Isuzu Engines.

Appearing at AFAC will be keynote speakers and experts in their fields – presenting on such subjects as forecast and warning systems and the viability of prescribed burning – while the exhibitions will showcase fire extinguishing technology, protective equipment and of course vehicles and vehicle equipment. This is where Isuzu enters the picture.

Isuzu will be presenting two items at AFAC: a mobile fire-fighting truck, also known as ‘The Weapon’, and the Isuzu off-highway engine powered Compressed Air Foam (CAF) system.

IAL’s National Sales Manager, Les Spaltman, is excited to be returning to AFAC again with these product offerings.

“Isuzu is thrilled to be heading back to AFAC and it’s great to have something of such practical value to offer our vital fire and emergency services organisations,” Mr Spaltman said.

“This year we’ll be showcasing a vehicle known as ‘The Weapon’, which has been engineered by Isuzu and Isuzu Engines and used by the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) to combat bushfires,” he said.

Developed to operate in challenging terrain, the foundation of ‘The Weapon’ is a 2015 model FVZ 1400 6×4, which hosts driver and passenger airbag with seatbelt pretensioner, has an ECE-R29 compliant cab, Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), coil spring cab suspension, cross locks, cornering lamps and ISRI 6860 driver seat with integrated seatbelt.

It also features internally reinforced front doors that open to 90°, heavy duty non slip entry steps, reverse alarm, heated and powered convex spot mirrors, combination brake/turn/reverse and marker lamps, and Hill Start Aid (HSA).

With a GVM of 26,000 kg and 221 kW @ 2,400 rpm, 981 Nm @ 1,450 – 1,450 rpm and excellent maneuverability, the FVZ 1400 6×4 has the power and maneuverability to deliver in the fire and emergency services sector.

But what helps make the vehicle a true weapon in the fight against bushfires is the CAF system. Developed by Isuzu Engines in conjunction with the RFS, the CAF system is a piece of specifically designed engineering.

Isuzu Engines’ Manager Industrial and Marine Engines, Dean Whitford, explains how it came about and how it works.

“The RFS was looking for a firefighting system that could pump a mix of fire-retardant foam and water from a tank, then through a cannon housed at the front of a truck. They had a 200 hp pump but not an engine to match it.

“But matching a 200 hp engine and a 200 hp pump meant we’d run into size and weight issues, so we engineered a solution based on heat exchange to keep the engine cool,” said Mr Whitford.

The fire suppressing capacities of compressed air foam and water are more effective than water alone. But the foam is only effective if it can travel from the tank to the targeted area.

Isuzu’s 4HKI engine and the engineering solution offered by Isuzu Engines is proving an invaluable tool for those in fire and emergency services.

“Isuzu Engines’ focus is on off-highway engines, where we’ve developed a reputation for power and reliability,” Mr Whitford said.

“But being able to offer solutions in such an important sector as fire and emergency services is a great thrill, and we’re looking forward to seeing how it’s received,” he said.

To see how ‘The Weapon’ and CAF system work, make your way to the Isuzu stand at AFAC17.

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