Soaring, record breaking temperatures and strong winds are creating what look likes Australia’s worst ever bushfire season. One Australian company, Australian Pump Industries has mobilised all its resources, pulling staff back from summer vacation to make sure production is keeping up with demand.
“We never expected a season like this,” said Aussie Pumps’ Brad Farrugia. “The tremendous co-operation of our vendor has solved what seemed like impossible logistic challenges,” he said.
Australian Pump started the season with a huge public awareness program called “Aussie Fire Ready.” After consultation with government departments and fire fighting authorities they published a Fire Survival Plan that really helps home owners and farmers to rationalise their approach to fighting fire and avoid last minute panics!
The guide stresses design, precautions and decision making as part of a simple but effective household, livestock and family protection plan.
“The Aussie Pump team responded brilliantly with everybody in the company understanding that personal inconvenience counts for very little when Australian’s homes are burning and cattle and sheep are dying.” said Farrugia.
Australian Pump is proud of its record as a key supplier to fire fighting authorities, National Parks, and the community at large. The company’s pump range, probably the widest in Australia, extends all the way through from Honda powered 1” Ultralights, that weigh as little as 5kg but can double as very handy mop up pumps. They can be used for filling gutters up with water from swimming pools or tanks when there are major power outages.
“Many homeowners living in bushfire danger areas don’t understand that the power goes off as the fire burns the poles and brings down the wires,” said Farrugia. “Electric pumps are useless when there’s no power available!” he added.
Part of Aussie’s range is a unique, high quality fire pump designed to get more water on to the fire, at pressure. It achieves this with a ‘big belly’ body, boasting big water passages, and a huge 7 ½” diameter impeller.
“The impeller’s the secret. It’s superbly balanced, maximising the effective use of the horsepower available!” said Farrugia.
The pump, called the Aussie Fire Chief, offers other key advantages. These include the standard model being mounted on steel skids with anti-vibration mounts for stability and convenience.
“We only use top quality components,” said Farrugia, “so mechanical seals are a ceramic carbon combination designed for long, trouble free life.” he said.
Unlike most fire pump manufacturers, Australian Pump use a metal caps on outlet ports enabling the three way tree to be used for running either two 1” lines or one 1 ½” line. The company believes that maximising the flow in an emergency by using a 1 ½” line with a big firefighting nozzle will provide real knock down power and can put out even stubborn spot fires with ease.
“We work alongside firefighters with our products and know what works. Dousing spot fires so they don’t re-ignite is essential and the Fire Chief drowns them,” said Farrugia.
The company also offers a range of top quality twin impeller pumps with pressures in excess of 130 psi (100m head). The twins, called the “Mr T” Series, offer phenomenal performance enabling operators to move water over long distances and put out fires even in hard to access locations.
The standard “Mr T” twin is powered by a big 13HP Honda petrol engine with optional electric start. However, Australian Pump has seen more diesel drive versions being sold this year. The 10hp Yanmar “Mr T” in its galvanised steel frame has proved extremely popular, not just for fire fighting but also for high pressure transfer and irrigation.
Diesel fuel is intrinsically safer than petrol. In the excitement and adrenalin rush of a bushfire, using a less volatile fuel can be a big safety advantage.
Australian Pump has a constant program to develop and improve the fire fighting pump range.
“We work with firefighting authorities and farmers to understand what they need. We’re developing pumps that will give them more performance, with less noise, less fuel consumption and superior operating characteristics,” said Farrugia.
Further information, including the Bushfire Survival Plan is available on the Aussie Pumps website (www.aussiepumps.com.au) or from Aussie Gold dealers around the country.
Further information on high quality fire pumps is available from our Fire Fighting Pumps page.