Overweight trucks and brigade concerns

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The QFES has been kicking this tin down the road for 5 years, and now the road has run out.

During the Townsville inundation in early 2019 it was identified that a number of Rural Fire Service trucks were overweight.

A number of remedial actions were attempted by the QFES.

In December 2021 a number of brigades were informed that their trucks were overweight and the QFES took these trucks for weight reduction measures.

At least one of these trucks has still not been returned, nor has the brigade received a replacement fire truck.

In January this year the RFBAQ wrote to the A/Commissioner QFES, Steven Smith regarding our concerns that a large number of RFSQ fire fighting vehicles are overweight.

This was in response to brigades and RFSQ field officers reporting a large number of vehicles that are in for weight reduction measures and repair across the state.

We asked A/Commissioner Steven Smith to assure us in writing that what we have asserted is not true and if this cannot be achieved then for him to have QFleet undertake an independent assessment.

Since the RFBAQ wrote the letter to the A/Commissioner QFES, Rural Fire Service Queensland paid staff have been visiting brigades with a set of portable scales and have started weighing fire trucks. This has led to brigades contacting the RFBAQ that the results found were overweight light attack fire trucks and overweight medium attack fire trucks.

Currently there are 673 medium attack fire trucks and 284 light attack fire trucks on fleet.

The total Rural Fire fleet, fire trucks and support vehicles is well over 1,000.

The advice that the RFBAQ has supplied to brigades that have vehicles identified as overweight, is that the vehicle cannot be driven on the road and the vehicle should be code 7’d (vehicle is not available for turnout). For brigades that are concerned that their fire trucks may be overweight the advice is not to drive the vehicle on the road and to contact the QFES and have them come out and weigh the fire truck.

The RFBAQ President and General Manager met with A/Commissioner QFES Steven Smith and A/Chief Officer RFSQ Ben Millington in Kedron yesterday and made the strongest possible recommendation that all vehicles be weighed across Queensland as soon as possible.

The QFES knowing that fire trucks are overweight since 2019 and not actively producing a workable solution has left brigade members who operate these vehicles on the roads exposed to potential litigation and is indefensible.


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