The Bowen River Rural Fire Brigade, which covers a large part of the Collinsville township and up towards the Burdekin Dam, will receive a new vehicle. Picture: Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland
The Bowen River Rural Fire Brigade, which covers a large part of the Collinsville township and up towards the Burdekin Dam, will receive a new vehicle. Picture: Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland

‘Truckless’ brigade gifted new custom-made vehicle

A COLLINSVILLE fire brigade that was previously "truckless" will soon receive a new tailor-made vehicle.

Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland raised funds with the help of the community to purchase vehicles for nine rural brigades across Queensland.

The Bowen River Rural Fire Brigade, which covers a large part of the Collinsville township and up towards the Burdekin Dam, was among the recipients.

Rural Fire Service regional manager superintendent Tony Hazell said the new vehicle would go a long way in helping the region's volunteers.

Previously, the brigade hooked their equipment up to vehicles on properties owned by graziers and canegrowers.

Supt Hazell said the new vehicle would make it faster and easier to fight fires and assist with hazard reduction burns.

"It just makes it all that much simpler because you've got a vehicle sitting there that's ready to respond," he said.

"This is ready to rock and roll for that specific purpose."

The vehicle is a Toyota 4WD ute that has been retrofitted with features to ensure easier access to equipment. Picture: Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland
The vehicle is a Toyota 4WD ute that has been retrofitted with features to ensure easier access to equipment. Picture: Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland

The vehicle is a Toyota 4WD ute that has been retrofitted with features to ensure easy access to equipment.

Supt Hazell said the ute was designed using ideas from volunteers.

The water tank has been fitted lower down in the ute so it has a lower centre of gravity, which Supt Hazell said would prevent it from rolling when crews were working on sloped bushland.

There is also an area on the outside of the ute to store the crew's helmets, freeing up space in the cabin for other vital equipment such as maps and communication equipment.

Supt Hazell said the new ute would also increase the brigade's ability to perform hazard reduction burns during the colder months.

"For this brigade, one of their main threats usually comes from fires that come off the rail corridor," he said.

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"They do a lot of (hazard reduction) work along the rail corridor because the trains usually assist in starting fires because there are a number of ignition sources.

"The support for the brigade to take a step forward is significant and certainly bolsters Queensland's fire and rescue capability."

The Bowen River Rural Fire Brigade has 16 members, 12 of which are firefighters.

Supt Hazell said the support of volunteers was especially vital in rural areas where brigades were responsible for large areas.

"Without volunteer type services there's probably no other way that fire management could occur," he said.

"They are in fact essential.

"It's great to see this support that the association has given the brigade.

"It's a great asset and will add great capacity to our own local communities."

You can donate to the Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland, which is raising more funds for trucks across Queensland here.


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