Through our association with the New Zealand Fire Service ,FRFANZ members are now able to benefit from these additional new benefits and services. Access to the wide range of benefits offered by the Firefighters Welfare Society, Credit Union Services, and the NZFS Sports Council events and competitions, are now available to FRFANZ members as we work together to enhance member benefits and provide greater opportunities for interaction between fire fighter members.
FRFANZ encourages members to visit the links below and take advantage of these new opportunities.
Silver Medal and Bars
Gold Star and Bars
Conditions and procedure to be followed to enable the award of the Service Medal
It is suggested that rural fire organisations order service awards once a year, and hold an appropriate social occasion (‘Honours Night’) during which the awards are presented. Medals are to be worn on the left side of a jacket. Enquiries should be directed to Graeme McIntyre.
Conditions and procedure to be followed to enable the award of the Service Star
Nozzle Flow Rates-
Unless you correctly match pump performance and nozzles, you can easily stuff up hoseline deliveries. All red plastic branches are not equal. Bob King, West Melton, has provided his test measurements as a guide.
Novel Retrofit for tank baffles-
These can be used to convert an ordinary tanker into a more stable vehicle for the road, even if the tank is only partly filled.
Beach fires – pumping out of the sea
After three driftwood fires on the windswept beach south of Wainuiomata, the FC was determined to come up with a better SOP. For those who haven’t, extinguishing driftwood fires is very time consuming. The fuel is very dry, and burns fiercely, so much so that rocks will shatter when the cold water hits them. The fires spread readily, but not with any great speed.
The first two fires were dealt to with tank supplies, appliances shuttling water. The third was within 50m of the Orongorongo River estuary, and portable pumps were used. This proved that, irrespective of the use of Class A foam, what you need is heaps of water. Water, water everywhere ie. the sea, and not a drop to squirt!
Not anymore. On 1 Feb., the Bushfire Force tried a new SOP using equipment readily available. Through previous Jap pumpers, we had three 8m lengths of suction (normally coiled on the side of ther appliances). Coupled, that gives 24m. Problem is: stick it in the waves, and it will usually washed back onto shore. Solution: lash two extending ladders together, and lash the suctiononto that. On a wave ebb, run it into the sea, and charge back hoping you don’t get soaked. Couple it into a self-priming trash pump (there’ll be sand), and you’ve got enough constant volume for 4 forestry deliveries. Don’t worry about branches – they’ll probably clog up with sand – because you don’t have to throw the water far. If you need to project it, just twist the end of the forestry hose. And if you do have to pump it far, run the water into a dam, and use Wajaxes out of the dam (no sand in high performance pumps).Foam works with salt water, if you need it.
Our first attempt can be improved on. There should have been a clovehitch and half hitches to lash the suction to the ladders. The photo shows two plastic containers attached to the strainer end to give the sea end some buoyancy with the idea of being able to push the assembly out into the deep without getting wet. That didn’t work – the end swung around into the shore. We could have tried leaving the caps off so the buoyancy was gradually lost. An alternative strategy might be to have a couple of strong lads take the erect assembly to the water’s edge, and allow the other end to flop into the sea. A line should be attached to the shore end of the ladder to assist in hauling the assembly out.
These are refinements. The technique works, and we have the trash pump and additional two suction lengths on a trailer, ready to roll to the next beach fire. The other gear required is normally carried to all fires as part of our normal deployment.
Scion have released software containing tools to calculate fire behaviour of NZ fuels. These are available for free-of-charge download at www.scionresearch.com/fire. For those that prefer to use lookup tables, there is a manual for predicting fire behaviour at a cost of $45 plus postage. Order from publications@scion research.com. One complimentary copy will be provided to each RFA.
RFA’s are required to have Safety Data Sheets on hand at each depot. NZ suppliers have yet to provide these. The above provides a link to US SDS’s that will do in the interim.
Mark III Wajax Evaluation
The Robin EC17DFF motor that has powered the (Mark V) Wajax pump for many years is being phased out. One of the possible replacements is to revert back to the Mark III motor that was rejected by NZ authorities back in the 70’s. The Mark III motor has continued to be used in Canada and the US, and has not marked time in that period. You can download a modern evaluation undertaken by Lindsay Golding of DOC.