The City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Service, on Wednesday, introduced their new rescue recovery vehicles at Epping Fire Station.
The new vehicle, an Iveco Trakker 8×4, has a 420 horsepower engine and its primary function will be to clear roads as quickly as possible after major motor vehicle accidents, particularly those involving heavy vehicles.
The heavy-duty rescue vehicles form part of a R50 million investment in new vehicles and fire stations in the current financial year.
The investment in critical infrastructure and resources, as exhibited by the Fire and Rescue Service, speaks to a caring City that is committed to public safety, said mayo Dan Plato.
“It is also a testament to our appreciation for the efforts of our firefighters who work very hard to keep us safe. Not only will these investments raise the profile of our fire and rescue service, which is already a cut above the rest, but it will also allow for even quicker response times which in turn mitigates the impact on people’s lives and property,” he explained.
Apart from the recovery function, the vehicle – which is a first for the City’s fire and rescue service – will also be used for special rescue operations and was acquired at a cost of just under R7,7 million.
The vehicle is fitted with a Fassi F660 crane which has a lift capacity of 56,8 metres and a maximum reach of 30,4 metre, and two Waldon ’30 ton’ hydraulic winches, each with a 60 metre cable, which, when used in tandem and with ‘snatch blocks,’ could increase its pulling force up to 80 tons
It also has a Zacklift Z453 under lift with a lifting capacity of 20,4 tons (retracted), 8,1 tons (extended) and a tow rating of 45,4 tons.
“The acquisition of the rescue recovery vehicle has been some years in the making, particularly following several incidents involving trucks on the N1 that caused massive frustration for motorists and impacted heavily on the economy.
“In the past, we had to rely on truck owners to remove their vehicles from accident scenes or from where they had broken down. The City has also been forced to rope in private operators to do the job, often wasting hours and also at great expense. With the rescue recovery vehicle, these incidents will be dealt with far more speedily where they occur,” added the City’s mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith.
About 15 staff members at the Goodwood Fire Station have been trained to drive and operate the vehicle, this far. More staff will be trained in the coming months.
The rescue recovery vehicle is one of a number of vehicle acquisitions by the City’s Fire and Rescue Service in the last 12 months. Some of the other vehicles include four vacuum tankers and four new MAN 4×4 fire engines.
The overall investment in fire vehicles by safety and security departments amounts to R17,5 million in the current financial year.
The construction of two new fire stations, one in the vicinity of Sir Lowry’s Pass Village and the other in the vicinity of Masiphumelele, has also hit the home straight and these stations should be operational towards the end of the calendar year. The City is investing just over R30 million into the final phase of the two construction projects, they (City) said in a statement.