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Engineering A Safer Crew Protection System

Author(s): Andrew Webb, Andy Gooden
Year Published: 2020
Description:

Burn-over crew protection systems have been installed into fleets of rural wildland Fire-Fighting Vehicles (FFVs) in parts of Australia, successfully providing protection for crews in recent large fires. Research out of the Country Fire Authority (CFA) in Victoria is leading the change in vehicles carrying more than 1000 litres of water.

These systems, and underlying engineering design principles, are robust and have remained largely unchanged since first introduced as standard fitment in Victoria in the mid 2000’s. Where utilized there have been no recorded firefighter deaths, and only minor injury, from burn-overs. Most notably during the Victorian Black Saturday bushfires in February 2009 hundreds of FFVs were involved in firefighting operations with eight involved in significant burnover situations and a further 18 directly impacted by fire. In the recent 2019-20 bushfires in New South Wales and Victoria that burnt out of control for many months the same result occurred – multiple burn-overs without deaths or significant injuries.

Citation: Webb A, and Gooden A. Engineering A Safer Crew Protection System. Wildfire magazine November 2020, online.
Topic(s): Human Dimensions of Fire Management, Risk
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 22268
Record updated: Dec 8, 2020