With a seemingly frequent occurrence of floods sweeping through Queensland over recent years, Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) has taken delivery of, and distributed 1200 RFD designed and manufactured Swift Water Rescue Jackets across its Queensland Rescue stations.
Through an exhaustive tender process, the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service developed a very tight specification for their new Swift Water Rescue jackets.
"We reviewed the brief and saw this as a very worthwhile challenge," said Neal Skinner, Queensland Regional Manager, Survitec Group, owners of the RFD brand.
"Having been through an exhaustive program where Survitec Group Australia developed a complete range of RFD PFDs for the recreational marine market, we felt very well placed to provide a bespoke product to QFRS."
The design specification had to fit a number of design criteria. The jackets required inherent buoyancy, offering a buoyancy rating exceeding 100 Newtons, be a one size fits all design, be manufactured from components that met the Australian Standard and importantly, not be an impediment to the wearer in swift water.
Having carefully examined the brief, RFD went through a detailed design process and provided prototype designs to QFRS, which were put through rigorous testing on the Tully River.
The RFD jacket performed admirably. It was designed to be worn over the top of the regular station uniform. Most important to the design was the distribution of the buoyancy material. The jacket needed to offer the appropriate buoyancy whilst assisting in swimming and maintaining a stable position of the wearer in the water.
Being a one size fits all design, it is easily adjusted by the wearer. A pocket in the front of the jacket is provided to tuck away loose chest straps to ensure that any chance of entanglement is avoided. A crotch strap ensures that the jacket does not ride up on the wearer.
"While we drew upon our design experience with the new line of RFD PFDs, this first responder swift water rescue jacket is very much a unique, specialist design. It is the style of jacket that can equally be used by QFRS as well as the SES and other search and rescue organisations that respond to flooding and swift water incidents."
With an initial order for 1200 RFD PFDs delivered to QFRS mid way through the Queensland flood and cyclone season, the new PFDs were urgently distributed by air freight and overnight delivery services to all corners of the state.
"Every location where we have Level 1 Trained Swift Water rescue personnel, we now have a complete kit of the RFD jackets on hand," said Chris Daniel of QFRS.
"There are five jackets stowed on each of our specialty trucks. When we arrive at a flood or inundation incident we have the right number of PFDs on hand to respond. These PFDs are worn by our first response QFRS people and of course any casualties that we need to assist."
Survitec Group in Australia (RFD Australia Pty Ltd) is primarily involved in the supply, service and project management of marine, fire, life support and gas control equipment to Government Departments and major corporations in the region. In the marine segment Survitec Group services recreational boating as well as the defence, shipping and aviation industries. Major brands distributed include: RFD, Toyo, DSB, Lifeguard, Beaufort, Plastimo, Kannad Marine, Comet, Hammar and Compact.
For further information contact;
Phone: +61 2 9330 7000
Fax: +61 2 9330 7098