Page 19 - Smoke Signals Autumn/Winter 2017
P. 19

EUDLO 91: From Niva to Tardis
By Hamish Murdoch, Eudlo Rural Fire Brigade
In the late 1990’s Eudlo RFB purchased an elderly Russian Niva for use as a patrol vehicle within the Brigade area. The vehicle was a very capable 4x4 but that was about the end of the story. The vehicle was well past its use by date when, in 2004, we replaced it with a second hand Nissan Nivara twin cab ute with a factory tray.
At the time the Rural Fire Service hadn’t developed the current concept of a 91 and the only way that we could get this vehicle on the books was to add a pump and call it Eudlo 42 which often confused Firecom as we already had a light attack.
This turned out to be a great move as it led to the development of a multi- purpose vehicle. We purchased a Honda portable high flow pump so that we could set up a water point in the field. This led to a generator and flood lights.
Right from the outset the main use of the vehicle was as a command vehicle as we realised that this would release a firefighting unit back onto the fire ground. The vehicle was kitted out with all the equipment to run an incident control point. This includes a full set of laminated satellite photos for our area. We now had a vehicle that met many needs: general transportation, incident control and provision of a water point.
As is so often the case with a development story that takes place over time, we knew that the Nissan could be improved on. The time came to update the Nissan as
it had reached the 20 year limit and was starting to cost a lot to maintain. This coincided with a major extension to the brigade building so there were significant demands on limited funding.
The break came during a visit from our State Member of Parliament, Andrew Powell, who mentioned a Federal funding program that he thought we would qualify for. This made up the shortfall. Funding came from 3 sources: the Federal Government’s Stronger Communities Programme, the Queensland State Gambling Community Benefit Fund and funds raised by the Brigade from car park duties at the Yandina markets.
We purchased the vehicle in August 2016 and began the kit out.
We found an excellent supplier for the canopy – Russel Dows of Morayfield. He came up with some great ideas that significantly reduced the cost of the canopy.
• The left hand side of the canopy has a set of sliding drawers for all the IMT gear as well as first aid kits.
• There is a small slide out table below the drawers which is covered with white board plastic. A fridge is also fitted on this side.
• The right hand side of the vehicle holds the high flow pump as well as the lighting generator.
• There is a tray above these to hold sundry fittings and lay flat hoses.
• The centre section is accessed from the rear.
• There is a sliding floor which holds the lighting tower, folding chairs etc.
• In the near future a suitable compact generator will be added to supply power to the vehicle as required.
• White board plastic has been attached to the end wall of the drawers.
• There is a rack on the top right hand side to hold the set of satellite photos.
• The slide out drawer below the canopy floor holds the suction and delivery hoses for the pump and has a cover which provides additional table space.
• The canopy has suitable internal and external LED lighting.
Eudlo 91 is an important vehicle – under our callout SOP this is the second vehicle to respond. Experience has taught us that this gives us a command vehicle in the field right from the start of the incident. At the initial stage Eudlo 91 is parked safely to one side until required.
We acknowledge the support provided to fund the vehicle from the State and Federal Government’s and to the many hours that our members have spent in the car park at Yandina markets. Lastly we must thank Russel Dows who provided a lot of free work during the construction of the canopy.
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