TAMWORTH will have extra firefighting power as the dangerous bushfire season takes hold after a new tanker rolled into town.
Fire and Rescue NSW unveiled the big red standard pumper truck yesterday morning at the city headquarters thatwill help meet the growing number of callouts.
Local commander Superintendent Steve Hirst said the new pumper and equipment was worth about half a million dollars.
“It’s given us a greater firefighting capability,” he said.
“Should there be a fire in Manilla or any outlying area, it allows us to move a tanker outside of
Tamworth without any fear that we’re leaving it short.”
The new truck also has a roll-on effect, meaning a bush firefighting tanker will now be stationed in West Tamworth, boosting firefighting efforts.
“Tamworth is an expanding area and we need to ensure the residents and business houses in town are well protected,” Superintendent Hirst said.
“We’ve now got that extra cart up our sleeve and we have the staff to man it.”
It’s taken about eight months in the planning and was only recently given the nod from the commissioner.
It comes as summer rolls in, meaning crews are ready to tackle what lies ahead.
And they have already seen a jump in call outs, after a spike in 2012.
But Superintendent Hirst is working to allay any fears that Tamworth doesn’t have man power round the clock.
The city station, based in Carthage St, is manned by permanent firefighters from 6am to 6pm.
“It is supplemented by our on-call retained staff at night,” he said.
“We have retained staff permanently at West Tamworth and they do a very good job.”
Superintendent Hirst dismissed any concerns that the city was being left high and dry night.
“We have staff 24/7,” he said.
“People say that we aren’t 24/7 and it sounds like we drop our hands after hours and that’s just non-sense.”
While there is no plans yet to staff the station with permanent firefighters 24/7, Superintendent Hirst said staffing configurations were constantly under review.