This video provides a snapshot into our final deployment to assist in the state bushfire emergency. A large fire stated south of Canberra and was spreading rapidly into the nations capital city. With bad weather and fire conditions forecasted the act emergency services agency frantically organized a huge amount of aerial water bombers to stage at Canberra airport and provide fire support for those crews working on the ground.
At the time we had just finished providing multiple semi-trailers and B Double tankers in support of NSW RFS in the Wingecarribee area. We were lucky enough to get the call up to assist in this complex and critical mission.
With less that 24hours notice we deployed a B Double tanker and two operators down to the airfield. Arriving at midnight Rodger and Andrew had to work into the early hours of the morning setting up and planning for aircraft filling operations.
It’s worth noting that this concept of a bulk water b double road tanker being used to fill aircraft with water and retardant mixture has not yet been done. The problem was that there was going to be so many aircraft on such a fast turnaround that one pumping station was going to be unable to keep up. The plan was, we would be acting as a fully mobile fill point for the smaller aircraft when the water bombing operations were in full swing.
Luckily this turned out to be a great system, and without it all the single engine air tractor aircraft would have been nowhere as effective as they where.
The mission lasted over a week and was a mammoth effort to say the least. Every day was at least 12 hours long and as you can imagine the sun and heat was unrelenting all day long, especially due to all the hard surfaces. Overall this campaign was a huge success for both developing our capability and more importantly improving the efficacy of the aerial firefighting efforts. A huge thank you to the mangers from ACT Emergency Services Agency who were innovative, faxable and adaptive thought. We are so lucky to have such talented and hard working professionals in our emergency services that are there to help when it matters most. We look forward to assisting whenever, wherever we can next……