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NSW Fire Brigades "Varley" units on call out

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NSW Fire Brigades "Varley" units on call out

Postby The Inspector » Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:05 pm

A couple of NSWFB "Varley" units seen at Town Hall during a call out on 23/1/09.
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Re: NSW Fire Brigades "Varley" units on call out

Postby stajourneyman » Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:17 pm

Are there any variations to this particular brand of fire truck.

I'm sure I've seen subtle differences when 2 or 3 have gone past in convoy, but can't recall what they are.
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Re: NSW Fire Brigades "Varley" units on call out

Postby boronia » Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:32 pm

There are 4 basic variations in the Varleys, mainly to do with the type of pump fitted.

The first model was known as a Type 4, and had a Hale/Godiva 3000 l/min pump.

The second was a Type 5, with a Hale/Godiva 5000 l/min pump

The third was a one off Rescue/Salvage unit, with no pump. This is FBY-206 in the second photo.

The fourth is known as a Type 3, and has a 4000 l/min Rosenbauer pump. FBY-847 in the first pic is one of these. They can be readily identified b y the a/c unit on the roof.

A similar looking earlier version of the Varley was built by Austral, these can be identified in having only two doors for the cabin, with a bus style entrance on the near side.
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Re: NSW Fire Brigades "Varley" units on call out

Postby Swift » Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:54 pm

Great to have a resident fire appliance consultant on board ATDB in the shape of Boronia. :wink:
I need to do abit of consulting of my own.Did they ever replace the rather gutless engines in the Austral originals?
I saw one that couldn't go up a modest grassy mound in Maroubra years ago when they were pretty new.It was embarrassing.

The engine was by Caterpillar I think and it seemed to be very rev oriented rather than posess alot of bottom end grunt.

The Varleys have what sounds like a more grunty type of engine,more capable of tackling hills.

I have to say that these Aussie designed trucks while not to my taste,are very unique and futuristic like the Tangara and ,like that ,will look modern for decades to come.
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Re: NSW Fire Brigades "Varley" units on call out

Postby stajourneyman » Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:15 pm

Thanks for that.

However, years of fire truck questions that I have contained until now have risen to the surface and require answering!

1. Are there any Inters still in the metro fleet, and if so, approx how many?

2. Do they sell the trucks off after metro use or are they all cascaded into regional locations?

3. How many years metro use do they get before moving on or out?

4. Do you or anybody have a photo of the aforementioned Austral units?

5. When did they stop purchasing the Varleys and why?

6. What are the current model basic trucks being purchased today?

(Sorry if this sounds like Question Time at Parliament House, Canberra!!)
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Re: NSW Fire Brigades "Varley" units on call out

Postby boronia » Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:29 pm

Hi Swifty

Most of the Australs have now been retro-fitted with the same Cummins ISC275 engines as the Varleys. They do go a bit better.
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Re: NSW Fire Brigades "Varley" units on call out

Postby OLYMPIAN » Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:35 pm

Some of them have ZF gearbox, and some of them have Allison...dont know how to find out which one have which box
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Re: NSW Fire Brigades "Varley" units on call out

Postby Swift » Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:41 pm

OLYMPIAN wrote:Some of them have ZF gearbox, and some of them have Allison...dont know how to find out which one have which box

Have a listen as they launch from the lights.I can tel by hearing them.I can only recall hearing the ZF noise of late!
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Re: NSW Fire Brigades "Varley" units on call out

Postby boronia » Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:54 pm

The Varleys have ZF boxes HP-500.

The Australs had Allison with the Cat engines, but I don't know off hand if the transmissions got changed when the new engines were fitted.
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Re: NSW Fire Brigades "Varley" units on call out

Postby The Inspector » Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:38 pm

stajourneyman wrote:6. What are the current model basic trucks being purchased today?


Scania seem to be the flavour of the month but there are a few Mercs around aswell.

These come with their standard cabs.
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Re: NSW Fire Brigades "Varley" units on call out

Postby Lewis G. » Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:08 am

Hi boronia / inspector..What is that clear becon light just of centre on the roof, I have often seen them...never on.
BTW great pics... :D
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Re: NSW Fire Brigades "Varley" units on call out

Postby boronia » Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:34 am

It is not a beacon, just a spotlight. It is rotated/elevated by a remote control unit in the cab.
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Re: NSW Fire Brigades "Varley" units on call out

Postby boronia » Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:25 am

stajourneyman wrote:Thanks for that.

However, years of fire truck questions that I have contained until now have risen to the surface and require answering!

1. Are there any Inters still in the metro fleet, and if so, approx how many?

2. Do they sell the trucks off after metro use or are they all cascaded into regional locations?

3. How many years metro use do they get before moving on or out?

4. Do you or anybody have a photo of the aforementioned Austral units?

5. When did they stop purchasing the Varleys and why?

6. What are the current model basic trucks being purchased today?

(Sorry if this sounds like Question Time at Parliament House, Canberra!!)


Oh dear, another "closet" fire engine enthusiast :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

1. There are no Inters in Metro use now, apart from a couple of ACCO-G units on specialised rescue/Hazmat work. There are still around 50 (1810C series) as spares in country areas.

2. The previous policy has been to cascade metro units to country areas. However, metro and rural specs for vehicles are now completely different, so this will now only happen in the larger country cities.

3. Previously, Usually about 10-15 years in Metro areas, then maybe 5-10 in the country. Much depends on funding for replacements because the optimal life of a truck has been identified as 15 years.

4. There is an Austarl in the first photo here http://www.busaustralia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=31703&start=0&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=firepac I haven't got anything better right at the moment, but will put one up later.

5. The last Varleys were bought about 3-4 years ago. Although they are an excellent concept, they are just too expensive and maintenance intensive compared with an off the shelf chassis. I doubt we will see anymore built.

6. Scania is the preferred chassis in NSW for metro pumpers and heavier aerial appliance, Isuzu for the rural pumpers and other specialised vehicles.

For anyone interested in more about Australian fire engines, I would recommend the OZFIRE discussion group (http://www.ozfire.org)
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Re: NSW Fire Brigades "Varley" units on call out

Postby On Air » Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:51 am

I am in the City every day and I have always wondered why there seems to be Fire Trucks racing to an emergency on an almost daily basis, yet when you go past the fire crew just seem to be standing about talking whilst their appliances block the road. Is it because of some clown activating a fire alarm in one of the many sky scrapers we have in this city? surely there can't be that many genuine fire alerts in the City. Or is it something to do with poorly maintained fire systems in these buildings??

Come on Boronia, give us the low-down.
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Re: NSW Fire Brigades "Varley" units on call out

Postby boronia » Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:31 am

I am not an expert in the statistics involved but I would say that oversensitive equipment or faulty equipment would be the main culprits. Often someone boiling a kettle in a kitchen, or having a steamy shower in a bathroom will set off a detector. Loss of, or surges in, electricity power can trigger an alert, so can fluctuations in water pressure. Accidents occur to detectors or sprinklers, setting off an alarm. Etc, etc. There are a few malicious false alarms, but many may be "in good faith" (false symptoms).

The "better sure than sorry" approach has to be taken for all calls, even when the outcome is known in advance.
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Re: NSW Fire Brigades "Varley" units on call out

Postby Swift » Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:48 am

I have noticed that fire trucks traversing the city with their sirens blaring is just too common.Perhaps if repeat offenders were sent a fat bill they may be more vigilant.
It's really annoying having the lights turn green only for yet another emergency vehicle to appear out of nowhere that you have to swivel your head to see hwere it is coming from,causing delays for everybody.
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Re: NSW Fire Brigades "Varley" units on call out

Postby On Air » Sun Feb 01, 2009 11:57 am

Swift 584 wrote:I have noticed that fire trucks traversing the city with their sirens blaring is just too common.Perhaps if repeat offenders were sent a fat bill they may be more vigilant..



Yes, that was the other question. Who pays for these call-outs? The owners' of the buildings or the mug tax payer??
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Re: NSW Fire Brigades "Varley" units on call out

Postby Volvo B12BLEA » Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:49 pm

On Air wrote:
Swift 584 wrote:I have noticed that fire trucks traversing the city with their sirens blaring is just too common.Perhaps if repeat offenders were sent a fat bill they may be more vigilant..



Yes, that was the other question. Who pays for these call-outs? The owners' of the buildings or the mug tax payer??

Buiding Owners pay for "False alarms". Up here in Queensland it is $927.45 for each Call Out to a False Alarm.

Read this link for more about how much it costs Queensland Fire & Rescue Service per Year for False Alarms..... http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,24993193-952,00.html
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Re: NSW Fire Brigades "Varley" units on call out

Postby Simes » Sat Feb 07, 2009 5:19 pm

On Air wrote:
Swift 584 wrote:I have noticed that fire trucks traversing the city with their sirens blaring is just too common.Perhaps if repeat offenders were sent a fat bill they may be more vigilant..



Yes, that was the other question. Who pays for these call-outs? The owners' of the buildings or the mug tax payer??


I was at mandatory education this week, the fire officer said that they spend $20,000 a year on fire call outs, 95% false alarms - burnt toast being a big cause and for us the fire stations next door. Pretty much anything that gets into the air and breaks the small light beam in smoke detectors will set off the alarm. (that's just at one hospital)

Also seems Varley are still around, they seem to be producing those new style Police paddy wagons
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Re: NSW Fire Brigades "Varley" units on call out

Postby stajourneyman » Sat Feb 07, 2009 6:46 pm

My question regarding the number of Inters still in service, may have been answered with the news story a day or so ago that all petrol engined fire trucks (ie Inters) are about to be pulled from service, due to carbon monoxide inhalation fears.

How did they ever reach the conclusion that petrol engines emit carbon monoxide?

Surely somebody in the Fire Brigade deserves a promotion for getting on to that one!!

And, of course, as a result, these great sounding trucks will prematurely disappear into history!
Last edited by stajourneyman on Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NSW Fire Brigades "Varley" units on call out

Postby The Inspector » Sat Feb 07, 2009 6:51 pm

stajourneyman wrote:And, of course, as a result, these great sounding trucks will prematurely disappear into history!


I only know of one in service in the city at the moment and thats a unit with Railcorp.
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Re: NSW Fire Brigades "Varley" units on call out

Postby boronia » Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:19 pm

It seems that a fire fighter operating one of these trucks recently complained of symptoms similar to CO poisoning. Tests around the vehicle showed a level about 10 times higher than safe limits under some circumstances, and instructions were issued that gas monitoring was to be instigated while the vehicle was running, and breathing apparatus worn if the levels got too high.

I'd say the union got hold of this, and made an issue out of it due the trucks concerned being over 20 years old, as an excuse to hasten their demise.

The FB is very OH&S conscious, and wouldn't want the stigma of pigeon-holing such a report.

Yes the old V-8 has a wonderful sound. Once all these are sold off we will be able to put our collection of ACCOs on display :D
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Re: NSW Fire Brigades "Varley" units on call out

Postby boronia » Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:31 pm

The Inspector wrote:
stajourneyman wrote:And, of course, as a result, these great sounding trucks will prematurely disappear into history!


I only know of one in service in the city at the moment and thats a unit with Railcorp.

That unit is diesel powered so is not subject to the ban.

The only petrol units in Sydney are a couple used out at the Alexandria training college.
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Re: NSW Fire Brigades "Varley" units on call out

Postby Mercedes_MkII_2125 » Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:56 pm

That last one has a D series cab and it appaears to be a Victorian style cab ie the middle window is slanted. the Nsw ones were different.
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Re: NSW Fire Brigades "Varley" units on call out

Postby boronia » Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:05 pm

That is a factory built "crew cab". the front and rear doors are the same.

The NSW standard pumpers had a standard single cab chassis with the separate rear cabin built as part of the firefighting bodywork.
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