New heavy rescue recovery vehicle bolsters City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Service fleet
The City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Service recently acquired a heavy lift rescue recovery vehicle that will make light work of clearing obstructions during major motor vehicle accidents and other incidents. It forms part of a near R50 million investment in new vehicles and fire stations in this financial year. City of Cape Town’s executive mayor, Alderman Dan Plato; mayoral committee member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith; chief fire officer of City of Cape Town, CFO Ian Schnetler; divisional commander Willie Olivier; station commander Pat Muir and finance manager Timothy Ackerman were all present at the handover on 13 March 2019 at the Epping Fire Station/Training Centre in Cape Town.
The event also provided a rescue simulation, using the new Technical Rescue 3 unit in action in a motor vehicle accident entrapment due to a container falling off an abnormal vehicle onto a passenger car. Fire fighters ‘responded’ and Technical Rescue 3 was put through its paces by lifting the container off the passenger car using the Fassi crane, clearing the way for the vehicle extrication crews, who continued with removing the roof and extricating the ‘patient’. Technical Rescue 3 then lifted the ‘broken down’ abnormal vehicle with the container placed back on its load body and towed it with ease from the ‘scene’ with the Zacklift under lift.
“The investment in critical infrastructure and resources, as exhibited by the Fire and Rescue Service, speaks to a caring city that is committed to public safety. It is also testament to our appreciation for the efforts of our fire fighters who work very hard to keep us safe. Not only will these investments raise the profile of our fire and rescue service, which is already a cut above the rest but it will also allow for even quicker response times which in turn mitigates the impact on people’s lives and property,” said the executive mayor, Alderman Dan Plato.
The heavy lift rescue recovery vehicle is the newest acquisition by the Fire and Rescue Service and is built on an Iveco Trakker 8x4 chassis with a 420 horsepower engine and its primary function will be to clear roads as quickly as possible after major motor vehicle accidents, particularly those involving heavy vehicles and containers. Apart from the recovery function, the vehicle, which is a first for the CoCT’s Fire and Rescue Service, will also be used for special rescue operations.
It was acquired at a cost of just under R7,7 million.
The vehicle is fitted with:
“The acquisition of the rescue recovery vehicle has been some years in the making, particularly following several incidents involving trucks on the N1 that caused massive frustration for motorists and impacted heavily on the economy. In the past, we had to rely on truck owners to remove their vehicles from accident scenes or from where they had broken down. The city has also been forced to rope in private operators to do the job, often wasting hours and also at great expense. With the rescue recovery vehicle, these incidents will be dealt with far more speedily where they occur,’ said the City’s mayoral committee member for safety and security, Alderman JP Smith.
Thus far, 15 staff members at the Goodwood Fire Station have been trained to drive and operate the vehicle. More staff will be trained in the coming months.
The rescue recovery vehicle is one of a number of vehicle acquisitions by the CoCT’s Fire and Rescue Service in the last 12 months. Some of the other vehicles include four vacuum tankers and four new MAN 4x4 fire engines. The overall investment in fire vehicles by Safety and Security amounts to R17,5 million in the current financial year.
The construction of two new fire stations, one in the vicinity of Sir Lowry’s Pass Village and the other in the vicinity of Masiphumelele, has also hit the home straight and these stations should be operational towards the end of the calendar year. The CoCT is investing just over R30 million into the final phase of the two construction projects.
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