When supply lines are needed to transfer water closer to the fire from long distances, the hose must be easy to manage, durable and reliable. Crusader Hose has redesigned Flexiline layflat hose to satisfy the demands of supply lines by managing higher pressures over longer distances. Crusader Hose also has the engineering capabilities to manufacture reeling systems to safely handle kilometres of hose.
Crusader Hose has been manufacturing layflat hose for over 35 years and has earned the respect and recognition of being a company dedicated to innovation and continuous improvement. Supplying many fire brigades with AS 2792-certified extruded and non-extruded fire hose, Crusader Hose also concerns itself with ensuring reliable supply line hose and hose reeling solutions are available for fire emergency situations. The bushfires that tore through south-west Australia three years ago presented such an emergency.
South-west Australia can boast having a very rare type of terrestrial ecosystem found only in restricted areas of the country, peatlands. A very vulnerable environment that needs to be managed carefully, peatlands are made up of partially decomposed organic matter with a relatively high carbon content. Normally a wet environment, if peatland becomes drier than normal, it takes on the characteristics of dry wood, becoming extremely flammable. Peat fires are very hard to manage as they can burn underground, smouldering for weeks, months and even years.
The 2017–18 fire season was predicted to have a higher bushfire risk in both the eastern and southern regions of Australia due to having a very warm and dry winter. By the third week of March, there were over 160 grass- and bushfires. The peatlands at Cobrico were set alight with 15,000 hectares of land burning over the peat deposits.
The fire proved to be a huge challenge for emergency management services as the fires were toxic, releasing deadly carbon monoxide into the air. Local residents were evacuated, and the CFA was called in. The firefighters tried using their water tankers and even helicopters to try and extinguish the fires. After a couple of weeks of these ineffective and considerably expensive strategies, it was decided that the most logical and effective way to manage the crisis was by flooding the area. With the major Ottway Pipeline just 4km away, a plentiful resource of water was available. What was needed was a supply line to get the water to the fires.
The hose contractor, Mike Jones from Agmek in Ballarat, had 4km of Crusader Hose 6in layflat on reels ready for immediate deployment. The first hose was connected to the Ottway Pipeline at the valve and the subsequent hoses reeled out along the road to the site of the fire. With the ease of the reeling system, the 4km of hose was connected quickly in 36 hours and by only two people. Water was soon flowing through at over 100L/sec, and this rapidly contained the fire behind an inactive edge.
Crusader Hose layflat hose and reeling systems proved to be the only suitable solution to manage the fire and this was the first time that such a method was used to fight a peat fire in Victoria.
‘Our new capability of manufacturing reeling systems for many sizes of layflat hose has made many customers very happy. Complete hose systems can be designed and customised specifically to the end user’s needs,’ said Francois Steverlynck, Managing Director of Crusader Hose. ‘The reeling system makes it easy to transport multiple lengths of hose, too.’
The full 4km of hose was transported back to the Ballarat depot in just two truckloads.
For more information, go to www.crusaderhose.com.au