CFA’s Kinglake District Fire Brigade has used the ingenuity of its volunteers to bolster the brigade’s ability to protect its growing community.
After receiving a big-fill trailer from neighbouring brigade St Andrews, Kinglake District member and fire engineer Chris Lloyd led a group of volunteers to transform the piece of equipment.
“We’ve undertaken a lot of work to upgrade the structural integrity of the trailer, the hydraulic capability of the pump, and about 810 metres of large-diameter hose,” said Chris.
“Now the big-fill trailer gives us the ability to draft water from various points, so we’ve got a chance of putting water in the areas where we need it.
“It also means we can fill up to four trucks without them having to be right next to the dam or creek which can prevent the area becoming boggy.”
In addition to the trailer, the brigade in conjunction with Murrindindi Shire Council, has installed a dry hydrant (an unpressurised outlet pipe that feeds directly into a creek) in town, and also been working with council to replace ageing concrete water tanks around the area.
“Most of the tanks around Murrindindi are 22,500L litre tanks that are getting to their of their life, and the water outlets are too small for the waterflow we need to achieve for some events.”
“We’ve been working with council to replace the concrete tanks with 100,000 litre steel tanks.”
“There has already been one installed in Yea, and another in Flowerdale, and another two new tanks going into Kinglake in the coming months.”
Kinglake District captain Linda Craske said it’s important that the brigade’s capability reflects the community’s needs.
“Kinglake is growing and there are more structures in the community, so we need to be able to protect all the new infrastructure that’s coming up,” said Captain Craske.
“The big-fill is a great piece of kit because up here, we need something that has the capacity to get water in a timely manner.
“The work with council to standardise new water tanks is also important, as there are a few areas we’ve identified like a more built-up estate that would benefit.
“These measures we’re implementing are all about protecting our community.”