Air­port gets new fire trucks

Central Leader - - NEWS - By NIGEL MOFFIET

New state-of-the-art fire trucks have added a dash of so­phis­ti­ca­tion to Auck­land Air­port’s res­cue fleet.

The air­port has spent $5.3 mil­lion on four new Rosen­bauer Pan­thers – Aus­trian-made trucks con­sid­ered to be the most so­phis­ti­cated fire­fight­ing ve­hi­cles in the world.

Air­port boss Adrian Lit­tle­wood says he is ‘‘in­cred­i­bly ex­cited’’ about the new ma­chines.

Such in­vest­ments are needed as the air­port ex­pects up to 40 mil­lion an­nual pas­sen­gers within 30 years, he says.

But the emer­gency crew be­hind the wheel of the new trucks are pos­si­bly even more en­thu­si­as­tic about their new toys.

The Pan­thers can reach 80kmh within 30 sec­onds and are ca­pa­ble of pump­ing out 10,000 litres of wa­ter and foam per minute.

The tech­nol­ogy also in­cludes en­gine and pump mon­i­tor­ing sys­tems, CCTV, ther­mal imag­ing cam­eras and ex­tin­guish­ing sys­tems.

Air­port emer­gency ser­vice train­ing of­fi­cer Si­mon O’Leary says the new ve­hi­cles have been ‘‘re­ally good for morale’’.

‘‘It’s a lot more su­pe­rior equip­ment to what we had in the past,’’ he says.

Aero­nau­ti­cal spe­cial projects man­ager Trevor Her­riott says many of the older trucks were in­tro­duced in 1989 and he com­pares the up­grade like ‘‘go­ing from a Model T to a Fer­rari’’.

‘‘The crew can’t de­scribe how good they are,’’ he says.

Mean­while, aero­nau­ti­cal op­er­a­tions man­ager Judy Ni­choll says in­creas­ing the air­port’s safety was the key con­cern.

‘‘The prime fo­cus of our emer­gency ser­vices team is to save lives,’ she says.

‘‘These new Pan­thers mean our team has the best equip­ment that is out there to­day.’’

The four trucks were un­veiled with bless­ings by iwi rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Makau­rau and Pukaki Marae.

Go to cen­tral­leader. and click on Lat­est Edi­tion to see the new trucks in ac­tion.

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