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New Safety System to protect Firefighters in Western Australia

The Western Australian government’s Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis has launched the latest cabin protection system to protect firefighters who become trapped in their vehicles during a bush fire.

This high tech equipment includes a water deluge system, heat shields and in-cab air breathing systems. The system also protects vital equipment such as vehicle wiring, water pumps and fuel lines to ensure the sprays continue to operate.

Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis said. “These new systems are part of an ongoing crew protection project that’s provided a safer working environment for volunteer and career firefighters,”

Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the A$15.4 million project was made possible by a A$12.3 million investment over three years through the state government’s Royalties for Regions program.

The new crew protection equipment will be installed in nearly 1,000 Fire and Emergency Services and local government firefighting vehicles, with brigades operating in high-risk bushfire areas taking priority. “Fighting fires is dangerous work – making that work safer is part of the government’s commitment to support the thousands of firefighters who help protect our communities each bushfire season,” he said.

The crew protection project is in its second phase. So far, 3,700 burnover blankets have been installed and 883 firefighting appliances fitted with radiant heat shields. The third and final phase of the project is due to begin in 2016 and will see the installation of an advanced vehicle locating system for appliances.

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