State-of-the-Art Tankers Boost Tasmanian Fire Safety Tue 29 May 2012 David O'Byrne Minister for Police and Emergency Management Download hi-res version The Minister for Police and Emergency Management, David O'Byrne, today unveiled the first of 70 new heavy tankers for the Tasmania Fire Service. The new units will boost safety and performance for brigades around Tasmania. "Our firefighters serve and protect Tasmanians with courage and dedication. From today, their work becomes that bit safer, and even more effective," Mr O'Byrne said. "This is an exciting day, because these new tankers will significantly modernise Tasmanian firefighting. "I particularly want to commend the TFS for its 'can do' attitude in designing and building the tankers itself. Its initiative and innovation has created exactly the sort of vehicle it needs, in a timely and efficient way. "As a Government, we've worked closely and strategically with the TFS to invest in priorities that provide a safer and stronger service. That's especially important in tight budget times, when you must get the absolute best value for your investment. "Tasmania's emergency workers are now better trained and better equipped than when Labor first came to office. "These state-of-the-art new tankers are another step in that process. They should give Tasmanians even greater confidence in the strength and reliability of their fire service," he said. The TFS' Deputy Chief Officer, Gavin Freeman, said 14 of the heavy tankers will be completed this year, with another 14 arriving next financial year. A total of 70 will be built over the next five years. "They cost $220,000 each. That's significantly lower than other options - largely because they've been built locally by TFS," Mr Freeman said. "They also use some of the components 'recycled' from the old trucks they're replacing," he said. The tanker launched today will go to the Sandfly Volunteer Brigade. It replaces an existing truck, which is 28 years old. The decision to commission the tankers involved major research and co-operation between many agencies. The new tankers include major safety features, including: Radiant heat shields; Personal protective blankets; Front wheel suppression sprays, with the ability to start the pump from inside the cabin; Modified cabin access and egress to reduce injury; Modified seating to provide lap-sash seating for all five occupants; A PPE (personal protective equipment) locker for stowing all PPE in the rear; SRS airbags.