by John Robertson
“As I was walking my dog on the morning of Monday 5th June a large plume of black smoke was coming from a property about 500 metres to the south-east. I called it in to Firecom who said that Urbans and Clagiraba were on their way. The fire was in a very big shed with a lot of black-smoke nasties surrounded by forest and at the top end of Landman Court. This ends some 50 metres short of Staghorn Avenue which is in TMRFB area.
About an hour later, at 08.15, TMRFB was called to provide a tanker. TM13 was having a battery change so TM1 and Robbo took 51. TM1 had to get back to work asap so Robbo was solo most of the time. TM51 made an excellent tanker. The first job was to give successive fills to Clagiraba 41 while it continued to pump to the fire which had escaped into the bush. Effectively CL41 was given a 2,200 litre tank. Rory was part of the CL crew – he is a member of that brigade as well as of ours. Rory was working very hard on branch and was as black as pitch. Subsequently Rory said that Clagiraba have a policy of using a Protek on the 90 litres/minute setting. That gives just over 6 minutes pumping time on a 600 litre tank. No wonder we had to give so many fills! All the fills were via the universal coupling device fitted to every Rural truck – namely the tank lid.
51 then refilled and used that load to re-fill 664A. Then 51 refilled again and back to Clagiraba 41. By the time 51 was again near empty the fire was out so Code 4 for Kidd Street and home. All Octopus Kangaroo – especially TM51 in the tanker role. TM52, when it arrives, will be an even better tanker as it carries 2,000 litres of water.”