WARRNAMBOOL SES ON-CALL WITH ISUZU
From ‘first response’ at fatal road accidents to saving sheep in a storm, Warrnambool State Emergency Service need tough and trusted capital equipment they can rely on every hour of every day of the year.
Charged with assisting the local community in road accident rescue, land and sea searches, and support with storm damage, the Warrnambool SES unit, based on Victoria’s wild south coast, is made up entirely of volunteers who are on-call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Controller Giorgio Palmeri – responsible for fleet procurement – worked closely with the team at Westar Trucks in Melbourne’s west to find a truck that offered flexibility and unflappable reliability.
The unit settled on a 2014 NPS 4×4 Crew Cab – a hard-nosed workhorse that could perform across a variety of jobs and environments.
Mr Palmeri says one of the reasons for choosing the Isuzu N Series over its competitors, was the advantage of the crew cab four wheel drive.
“The 4×4 can be used literally everywhere. We take it to road crashes on urban highways, into country paddocks, and along rugged cliff-top trails.
“This is a replacement for a competitor crew cab model from the mid-1980s, so it’s a massive improvement on comfort, safety and performance – it also has loads of traction and ground clearance,” Mr Palmeri said.
The NPS crew cab model comfortably seats seven, which means the SES team can travel safely in one vehicle to an incident site – a huge benefit when lives are on the line.
The superior safety suite of the Isuzu N Series also ensures the SES crew arrive safely every time, even when up against challenging and often highly dangerous situations.
Driver and passenger airbags are standard across the N Series range, along with an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), seatbelt pre-tensioners and double side-intrusion bars.
“The other reasons we opted for the NPS was at 6,500 kg it offered a higher GVM than competitors, all while seating six passengers and the driver – a big plus for us,” Mr Palmeri said.
“The NPS is that little bit smaller, has better handling and visibility and the synchro gearbox makes it that much easier to drive. Everyone agrees it drives like a car.
“With a range of team members getting behind the wheel, it’s definitely easy to jump into and drive in high pressure situations, meaning minds are kept firmly on the task at hand.
“Its overall driveability and the Hill Start Aid function certainly mean that our less experienced drivers feel confident getting behind the wheel in any situation as well.”
Power is not an issue for this ‘go anywhere’ unit either. With max power of 114 kW @ 2,600 rpm and max torque of 419 Nm @ 1,600 – 2,600 rpm, Adam’s drivers can tackle just about any driving situation with confidence.
Warrnambool SES also installed a second alternator with a 7,000 watt inverter to accommodate the pneumatic light tower with its four 1,000 watt floodlights. Built onto the body of the NPS, the light tower is employed in a range of situations, from power outages caused by storm damage to rescue and relief missions.
Additional steps and hand rails have been added in the build, along with an air compressor, an alloy bull-bar and 15,000 lb winch to make sure every box is ticked for whatever job is thrown their way.
It’s up to the SES unit to tackle all road traffic accidents and rescue situations in the area, and they can be called at any time of day or night.
“We attend over 150 incidents a year just in the Warrnambool area. Around 20 of those were road crashes and the remainder centre around tackling the elements in storm cover and rescue operations, so we need to carry a lot of equipment,” Mr Palmeri said.
“As we use the truck for road crash and storm emergencies, we need to have all our tools easily accessible. The Isuzu is equipped with plenty of lockers and drawers for stowing rescue and recovery gear.
“We’re very impressed with the truck. It’s ticked all the boxes for us and it’s been an invaluable addition to the team.”
For further information, please contact:
Isuzu Australia Limited
Phone: 03 9644 6666
For Isuzu Truck Releases and Photos:
Phone: 03 9867 5611