Investment in New Hazmat equipment for firefighters5th September 2012
Ministerial media release
Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Michael Gallacher, has announced the purchase of sophisticated smoke and gas detection systems that will be used by Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) firefighters at emergency scenes.
Two new "AREA Rae Systems" have been delivered to FRNSW officers in Newcastle and Shellharbour, with a third set to be delivered to Berkley Vale on the Central Coast, in coming months.
"This $300,000 investment in portable detection systems will improve firefighters' ability to fight large fires and protect the public from dangerous chemical spills," Minister Gallacher said.
"They will be deployed at large fires, factory fires, bushfires, and other incidents involving potentially harmful chemicals to give an accurate view of the size of the smoke or gas plume, and where it is moving. It allows firefighters to predict the areas that may be affected and if necessary to order evacuations.
FRNSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said the equipment would improve firefighters' ability to maintain public safety.
"These sophisticated detectors reveal the level of toxicity of smoke or gas plumes, allowing firefighters to advise whether evacuations should be ordered, and over what area," Commissioner Mullins said.
Firefighters will also be handed ten new "Smiths Chemical Detectors".
"These can detect the presence of a range of toxic gases and chemicals, including cyanide, mustard gas, and sarin, and will be installed at all FRNSW heavy HAZMAT [hazardous material] stations," Minister Gallacher said.
"This $80,000 investment by FRNSW will be an important addition to the NSW Government's Counter Terrorism capability.
"The NSW Government is committed to giving firefighters all the equipment they need to protect public health and safety from the smoke and gases that can arise from fires involving chemicals, chemical spills, and potential terrorist attacks," Minister Gallacher concluded
Investment in New Hazmat equipment for firefighters (PDF 111KB)