SA Country Fire Service

Media release

CFS expand road crash rescue capability with Heavy Rescue Vehicle


The SA Country Fire Service's Road Crash Rescue (RCR) capability is being expanded with the introduction of the agencies first Heavy Rescue Vehicle, which includes 'vehicle relocation' capability that shortens the time it takes for a person to receive potentially life-saving medical treatment.

Specifically built by firefighters for firefighters, the Heavy Rescue Vehicle will respond to complex vehicle accidents including specialist and heavy vehicle incidents (e.g., agricultural machinery), industrial rescue and general rescue incidents.

The Heavy Rescue Vehicle will be located at the Lobethal Brigade, who will provide a specialist response across the Adelaide Hills. Additional locations for the rollout of further vehicles are being identified through research into CFS response and road network data.

CFS Chief Officer, Brett Loughlin AFSM, said the introduction of the Heavy Rescue Vehicle into the CFS' fleet will revolutionise the response of the all-hazard agency and will be lifesaving.

"This vehicle will enable our volunteers to provide a greater specialised response to regional South Australia that was previously limited to metropolitan areas," Chief Officer Loughlin said.

"Every second counts when responding to a road crash incident, therefore by having the ability to relocate a vehicle to increase access points, rather than only having the ability to use tools to extricate a person who might be trapped, will enable a person to receive medical treatment sooner," he said.

The vehicle relocation capability is via a purpose-built winch that will be used to drag vehicles off or away from obstacles following a road crash, enabling an injured person to receive medical treatment in the fastest possible time.

Manager Technical Operations, Tim McNeilly, said the vehicle relocation ability will be operated in conjunction with crash recovery system Moditech, run from a tablet, which will provide CFS volunteers with in depth information on potential hazards.

"New technologies and built-in safety systems in vehicles have helped to increase safety systems for occupants in a car before a crash. However, these create safety hazards and challenges to CFS volunteers when responding to extricate anyone trapped," Mr McNeilly said.

"Moditech technology will allow volunteers to look up specific car models to understand where potential dangers such as airbags, fuel tanks, batteries or SRS control units may be hidden within the car."

The CFS has worked with several agencies around Australia, as well as the Lobethal Brigade, to determine the most beneficial equipment and capability to include on the truck to ensure it is fit for purpose.

Lobethal Brigade Captain, Jason Draper, said the brigade is called to more Road Crash Rescue incidents than any other type of incident.

"We're thrilled to be chosen as the first brigade to receive a Heavy Rescue Vehicle and it will significantly increase the CFS' response and rescue capability to Lobethal and surrounding communities".

"Having an input into the design, capabilities and layout of the truck was an incredible experience. It's something volunteers aren't generally able to have a say in so it truly is a truck designed by firefighters for firefighters."

As the largest provider of RCR in South Australia, with 66 specialist brigades across the state, the CFS responds to incidents along the major highways and freight routes connecting SA to other states.

Key features:
- Standard RCR capability
- Heavy Lifting - 60 & 90t airbags, 50t Heavy Lift Jacks
- Heavy Stabilisation - Stabfast XL, significant cribbing, truck cabin restraint system
- Relocation - vehicle mounting winching, tirfor, go jacks
- Rescue platform
- Industrial rescue options - battery combi tool, tag out lock out kit
- Also, general rescue - dremel, ring cutter, larger assortment of battery power tools, quick cut saw, chainsaw

Media information
For media enquiries call the CFS Media Line on 08 8115 3531.

Government of South Australia