The Cessnock District Rescue Squad has recently undergone a complete overhaul and upgrade of its two primary rescue vehicles, Rescue 1 and Rescue 2. The project started out with quiet modest ambitions but ended up “bigger then Ben Hur”.

The initial concept was to explore alternative power supply options to replace the existing diesel generators. After extensive investigations it was determined that Power Take Off (PTO) generators were the best options. This decision however left the squad with an unforseen but welcome problem. The existing diesel generators took up an entire locker, whereas the PTO generators required nowhere near this amount of space. With this development it was decided to seize the opportunity and conduct a complete refit of the trucks.

After many hours of discussion, research and planning a design concept had been formulated and work could commence. A material called varioline had been identified as the best option for the locker fit outs, it is light but very strong and resistant to just about everything. The front locker containing the hydraulic tools and air bag equipment of Rescue 1 was completely stripped, new varioline flooring installed and then taken to the factory for installation of the PTO generator. Once this locker on Rescue 1 had been completely refitted, the same process was followed with Rescue 2. From this point we were able to refit one locker at a time on each vehicle with the bulk of the works completed within about three months.

Another major alteration was the installation of a 3500 watt inverter to each vehicle. Two large deep cycle batteries on a “float” charger supply a separate 24 volt circuit to avoid any draining of the vehicle batteries. Apart from providing a back-up power supply, this allows for operation of low power draw equipment with absolute silence as the vehicle does not need to be running.

To put the finishing touches on the upgrade it was decided that the exterior of the vehicles also needed some attention. The vehicles were sent alternatively to a local detailer for a “spruce up”, then had extra signwriting installed to enhance there visibility.

As with any major project a few “finishing touches” remain to be completed, however with the work almost complete it has been well worthwhile. Of course Murphy’s Law dictates that every time we attempt to work on one of the vehicles the pager goes off.

As a result of this upgrade the Cessnock District Rescue Squad has several items available for sale. These include   2 x 8 kva diesel generators, 2 x petrol driven hydraulic pumps, 2 x 30 metre hydraulic hose reels and more. If you, your squad or anyone you know are looking for any such items please contact me on 0458 039 588.


Cessnock District Rescue Squad

PR / Equipment Officer

Jason Sattler