Its Monday night, and Mick is out driving looking for some photo opportunities. In the east end of Newcastle he stumbles across a semi trailer parked in the darkness. It wasnt just any semi, it was the BA training and HazMat response truck that is normally in Sydney. Mick called me straight away to tease me of his find.
Tuesday, we set off to find the semi again, so we can take some photos, low and behold, we found it, opposite us at a set of traffic lights. Of course,,, we followed. We lost it there for awhile, but it was found again, back in the city.
We watched as the driver parked the massive rig, the most outstanding feature is the brilliant sign writing on the trailer, as you will see by our photos. I approached the driver to ask if it was OK to take our shots.
The driver was in fact the BA and HazMat Instructor Stuart Harvey. Stuart was more than happy to show us the semi and after a quick phone call allowed us to have a look inside.
The unit is responded to major incidents, but is mainly seen travelling the state training our firefighters
The contents of the trailer were another story. The BA trailer has everything and does everything we need it to Stuart said. At one end of the trailer was a cross between and office and a comms centre. At the other end was a training maze, The maze simulates what is would be like inside a smoke filled complex, and the fire officer is required to get out through the maze.
The semi also features a power generator + three phase which gives the unit enough power at a major incident.
The prime mover is state of the art, which also features push button gear changes. Stuart says I enjoy driving this truck, It carries all the necessary equipment to do our job, like the BA clothing, recharge cylinders and has a 50kva generator.
Other features include -
Air compressor: 13m_@ 414 Breathing Apparatus
On board computer
On board fax
On board telephone
GRN & PMR Comms
30 sets of spillage clothes,
decontamination showers, booms, pillows, absorbents
Thanks for everything Stuart; it was great of you to give us the tour.
|Inside the training cell of the truck
|Its a complex exersize for the safety of our important lifesavers
It's Thursday,, my phone rings,, it was Stuart, the BA and HazMat Instructor. He was inviting me over to 462 Station (Mayfield West) to watch him train the crew. He didn't need to ask me twice !!!
Upon arrival at the station I could see The BA Training and HazMat Response semi parked, setup and ready to go. Stuart introduced me to the Station Officer and the crew that he was training. They were all keen to have some snaps taken of them.
As the first two fire fighters were getting suited up, Stuart told me what they would be doing and told me that it was OK to take some shots.
The crew entered the semi in pairs to make their way through the maze. The lens on their BA mask was obscured to simulate heavy smoke. For them to get through it was essential for them to help each other as they had to walk, climb, slide and crawl through some tight spaces. they also had to locate and enter doors and trap doors, some of the passage ways were dead ends. On more than one occasion the fire fighter's "Big Ben" man down alarms were activated as they got stuck in the maze.
As the crews exited the maze, I could tell that it was hard work from the amount of sweat that was dripping from the crews. As the first pair came out another two entered.
The guys then showed me how they clean down their gear, and replaced what needed to be replaced. As mentioned previously, this semi travels throughout the state training our fire fighters. These guys and girls are committed to saving lives and they train hard to do it. Well done !!!
Thanks once again Stuart,, for your kindness.