Rathdowney celebrates new fire truck

Tony Salisbury, Tom Cheevers, Andrew Buchanan (President of the Memorial Grounds Assoc), Ian Richter and Brian Williams. Image supplied
Tony Salisbury, Tom Cheevers, Andrew Buchanan (President of the Memorial Grounds Assoc), Ian Richter and Brian Williams. Image supplied

The community of Rathdowney has celebrated its shiny new fire truck through a display, demonstrations and kids’ activities at the September Rathdowney Country Markets.

Rathdowney Rural Fire Brigade and Fire and Rescue brought their new truck along and did public demonstrations about how a fire spreads and the benefits of having fire breaks in an informative and enjoyable day for the community.

Local firefighters recently secured the new state-of-the-art fire truck at an official handover ceremony at Beaudesert Fire and Rescue Station on 18 August, attended by Captain Matthew Arkinstall and firefighters Michael Whyte, Tom Cheevers and Andrew Kennedy.

At the Rathdowney Country Markets on 18 September, several local firefighters mingled with marketgoers as they admired Rathdowney’s new truck.

A colouring in competition organised by Bonfire Cartoons and the Rathdowney Country Markets attracted 40 entries, which were set up in the barn for all to admire.

Candice Knudson from Rathdowney Country Markets thanked everyone involved and said it was fantastic to celebrate the town’s new truck.

“The weather was amazing, we could not have asked for better and was an all-round enjoyable day for the whole community,” she said.

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.

When local firefighters received the truck in August, Captain Arkinstall told the Beaudesert Bulletin 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.”

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