This year, Rosenbauer will deliver a total of 15 aerial rescue devices of various kinds to different Australian fire service organizations. In addition to vehicles from the L32A-XS and B32 standard series, these will include hydraulic platforms with a working height of over 40 m and compact aerial ladders with a rescue height of 24 m. All aerial rescue devices have been constructed on Scania chassis (6x4 or 8x4) and designed as multi-function or First Attack vehicles, which - some with full firefighting equipment on board - are already equipped for every application: rescue, firefighting and technical assistance.

New L24C FA compact aerial ladder

A completely new development is the L24C FA, deliveries of which to the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Emergency Services Agency and to the Tasmania Fire Service are identical in construction. The C in the type designation stands for Compact, for two reasons: on the one hand, it has a pivot mounting that does not protrude beyond the vehicle contour when rotated 360°, while on the other the three-part ladder set is 120 mm lower than its four-part counterpart. This makes the L24C FA ideal for deployments in urban areas and in Australia's increasingly densely populated inner cities.

It can also drive through lower restricted headroom areas and its full range of functions can be used in confined spaces. Another advantage of the compact pivot mounting is the possibility of installing extensive water technology without significantly increasing the vehicle's dimensions. Both aerial ladders are equipped with a pump, foam proportioning system, tanks for water (1,800 or 1,500 l) and foam compound (200 or 200+50 l), waterway (Telescopic Waterway System - TWS), cage monitor and fast attack.

Hydraulic platforms with extended reach

Rosenbauer supplies multi-functional B42 2.0 hydraulic platforms to the ACT Emergency Services Agency and the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services. The vehicles have a four-part ladder set with a one-piece cage boom, and reach a working height of 42 m. They can also be braced to a width of 7.75 m, which means that they can reach a throw range of over 30 m (extended reach).

Risers for electricity (230/400 V), breathing air (4 bottles on the pivot mounting) and extinguishing agent (TWS) ensure that all media is available for all types of deployments in the rescue cage. The Queensland vehicles are also fitted with an on-board pump and tank.

The hydraulic platform's rescue cage has a live load of 500 kg, can carry up to 5 people, and is equipped with a remote-controlled water turret, pressure outlets, a camera system (zoom and infrared camera) on the pan/tilt head and a high-voltage warning device. Automatic functions such as the Target Memory System (TMS) for repeating previously travelled routes, and the automatic retraction of the rescue cage (ARF) from positions with no line of sight make it easier to control the equipment. A rescue ladder attached to the arm set ensures the second escape route.

XS ladders for initial attack vehicles

In addition to the new hydraulic platforms, the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services have also put new aerial ladders into service. These are vehicles of the L32A-XS 3.0 P/FA type, with a firefighting pump with corrosion-resistant gunmetal design and foam proportioning system installed in the middle. Tanks for 1,200 litres of water and 200 litres of foam compound are housed in the equipment compartments over the rear axle, with extinguishing agent being discharged either via pressure outlets or via a remote-controlled water turret mounted on the cage. The turret is connected directly to the pump via the TWS, which means that the FA ladders can immediately be put to use for extinguishing work, and can therefore be used as an initial attack vehicle.

Brief biography of the fire services

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) is a broad-based fire service and disaster protection organisation with around 2,200 "recruit firefighters", comparable to European full-time emergency crews, and a further 2,000 volunteer firefighters ("auxiliary firefighters"). In addition, QFES can rely on another 32,000 volunteers to fight bush and vegetation fires. The operational area of the QFES covers 1.7 million km2 (about five times the size of Germany), inhabited by around 4.95 million people.

The Australian Capital Territory Emergency Services Agency is the emergency response organisation for fire, rescue and disaster protection for the capital Canberra (around 416,000 inhabitants), and the capital territory (2,358 km2). It has around 2,200 operational members, with a fire service composed of over 330 emergency crew members and a fleet of 35 vehicles.

The Tasmania Fire Service is responsible for the island of the same name to the south of the Australian mainland, with an area of 68,400 km2 (main and secondary islands) and around 534,300 inhabitants. The fire service operates 230 fire stations, with only those in the cities of Hobart, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie being staffed around the clock. It has a total of 6,000 members, including around 250 professional and 4,800 volunteer firefighters.