New fire truck for Rathdowney

Captain Matthew Arkinstall, Michael Whyte, Tom Cheevers, Andrew Kennedy.
Captain Matthew Arkinstall, Michael Whyte, Tom Cheevers, Andrew Kennedy.

Rathdowney firefighters are well-equipped for the coming fire season after securing a new state-of-the-art fire truck for the local community.

Captain Matthew Arkinstall and fellow Rathdowney firefighters Michael Whyte, Tom Cheevers and Andrew Kennedy attended an official handover ceremony at Beaudesert Fire and Rescue Station, at which Canungra station also received a new fire truck.

The new Rathdowney truck, valued at about $690,000 is a ‘Type 2 Medium Urban Fire Appliance’ which holds 2000 litres of water.

It carries the same equipment as the old truck such as breathing apparatus for fires, road crash rescue equipment, hazardous materials equipment and specialist rescue equipment for rope and water type rescues.

It also has a Compressed Air Foam System (CAFS), which mixes normal firefighting foam with compressed air and water, as well as other new features to enhance safety for firefighters and the community.

Captain Arkinstall said it was significant for Rathdowney.

“Our existing truck was the oldest one running in the fleet, it’s 21-years-old, still well-maintained and it’s been getting minor upgrades over the years, but I have to admit I never thought I’d see a brand-new truck in Rathdowney,” he said.

“The CAFS just enables us to use less water, so when you’re travelling to fires particularly in drought where people don’t have a lot of rainwater available or there’s no surface water because it’s dry, we can just increase the amount of foam we use.”

Temporary Area Commander for Scenic Rim Chris Griffin, who emceed the handover ceremony, said it was a momentous occasion.

“This is a proud day for crew in Scenic Rim as it enhances our ability to provide a high level of Fire and Rescue capability to our great community in emergency situations,” he said.

Inspector Griffin acknowledged the Traditional Mununjali Elders, who opened the ceremony with a Welcome to Country and QFES Commissioner Greg Leach, Deputy Commissioner Mike Wassing, Assistant Commissioner Kevin Walsh. Mayor Greg Christensen, PCYC Rural Fire Service Cadets and leaders and all QFES captains and staff.

In testament to the never-ending nature of firefighting, the bells rang partway through the ceremony and several firefighters present donned their protective equipment and left the station with sirens sounding to respond to a local fire.

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