Leopold Brigade Members Get Keys To Their New Tanker

Member News imageLeopold Firefighter Tom Duncan, Lieutenant Mathew Berryman, Alison Marchant MP, Captain Chris Wilkinson, Firefighter Joshua Robins

Leopold Fire Brigade has welcomed a new tanker to their engine bay and celebrated the official handover with local community members.

Local Member for Bellarine Alison Marchant handed over the keys to the medium tanker to eager brigade members on Monday night (27 May).

Leopold Fire Brigade Captain Chris Wilkinson said his members are already reaping the rewards of the enhanced safety features and increased capabilities of the new tanker.

“We’re finding operationally it’s more efficient and there’s a really good feel about the truck among the brigade,” Chris said.

“This tanker is a four-wheel drive, whereas the other one was a two, so we’ve gained a drive system that has the capacity to get us further when we get called out.

“It also helps that the design is similar to our other tanker, so the transition has been smooth, and we can now run with two crew cabin variants.”

Averaging more than 150 callouts per year, Chris said the cabin configuration of the two tankers will be particularly effective when communicating with each other on the way to incidents.

The new medium tanker can hold 2,350 litres of water to suppress fires and incorporates a crew protection system to help protect volunteers during a burnover.

“The medium tanker features a suppression system to allow for in-vehicle firefighting and can comfortably hold a crew of five safely on-board,” Chris said.

“The added features available on this tanker has seen our members develop the enthusiasm to apply for a further grant to get breathing apparatus on the truck.

“The increased urban capability on offer is really exciting and something our volunteers are hoping to improve on moving forward.”

The new state-of-the-art vehicle was purchased through the Victorian Government’s Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program (VESEP), with the brigade receiving a grant of more than $320,000.

To secure the funding, the member brigade contributed more than $58,000, fundraised over many years.

“This new tanker is a valuable asset to have in our community, but also to ensure the safety of our firefighters when responding to emergencies,” Chris said.

“We set our sights on purchasing the new tanker and will now put our energy back into rebuilding our finances towards further upgrades for our brigade and local township.”

/CFA News Release. View in full here.