Australia and the United States of America are two of the most fire prone areas of the world, and have experienced a tragic number of fire-fighter fatalities over the years due to vehicle burn overs. Australian fire services have since introduced water spray protection systems on large fire fighting appliances that have proven effective to save lives, but typically require 500 to 750 litres of water to adequately protect the crew within the vehicle. Ultra light tankers only carry minimal water reserves which are reserved for fire fighting.
The Red Door Gel 'Crew Protection' System (RDGS) works by injecting a super absorbent fire blocking polymer gel into a water spray system applying a protective fire barrier layer to the critical external components of the vehicle such as windscreen, cabin doors, wheels and pump in 20 seconds.
The heart of the system is located in a 'drop on module' that contains the gel injection/recirculation system. Every time the vehicle is started the gel is recirculated for a short duration to ensure the gel remains mixed and ready to be deployed in the event of a burn over.
The spray system utilises 8 extendable spray nozzles located at the wheels and cabin doors and 2 fixed spray nozzles at the bull bar and pump. These sprays are able to be manually tested with water periodically to ensure the sprays are operating and aligned correctly.
Ultralight Tanker during water spray test - CFA Headquarters Burwood, Victoria
In an emergency burn over situation the deployment switch, located within the cabin, is activated. The RDGS will apply a gel/water mixture uniformly on the wheels, cabin doors, windscreen and pump. The system can be deployed well in advance of an oncoming fire front and still maintain the fire protection properties.
Ultralight Tanker moments after deployment of the system - EVTA Group, New Gisborne, Victoria
The system weighs 60kg, uses 40lt of water and is able to be deployed in 20 seconds. The system requires 12V or 24V DC power and water from the fire fighting pump.
|Drop-on Module||Distribution Manifold||Extendable Spray Nozzles||Operator Panel|
Live fire front impact test - Brucknell, Victoria.