Tuesday June 28th 2016 was a day the children of Rhws Primary School will never forget, in particular three of it’s pupils who were picked from numerous entries to officially name the recent delivery of the three Oshkosh Strikers to Cardiff Airport. Guests from the press as well as from other airports in the UK including Belfast, Liverpool, Swansea and Southampton attended along with delegates from Terberg and Jim Johnson, the President of Oshkosh’s Fire & Emergency Segment all the way from Wisconsin.
The decision to purchase three vehicles was made over a year ago, and was a joint decision by Cardiff Airport’s Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer Debra Barber and Ray Imperato, Cardiff Airport’s Fire Service Manager. The Oshkosh 6×6 Striker was identified as the vehicle of choice chosen primarily for its state of the art design as well as its functionality and the ability to carry 12,000 litres of water and 1,600 litres of foam. From it’s forward-facing bumper monitor, each striker can produce 60,000 litres of finished foam per minute with a jet throw of over 90 metres. To accompany each of the three Strikers, mounted on the roof is a High Reaching Extending Turret (HRET) system better known as the SNOZZLE®.
The three Strikers were ordered some months ago to replace the aging Boughton vehicles which have given Cardiff Airport a sterling service. With passenger numbers constantly on the increase and with various expansion projects in the pipeline, vehicles were needed that could cope with the increase in demand should an incident occur. The Oshkosh Strikers have all the necessary acumen to attain and exceed the standards needed by a modern airport facility and some of the specifications these vehicles boast are truly impressive. These include but are not limited to, a top speed of over 70mph, independent suspension system with superior all-terrain mobility, and a turning diameter of just 23.8m.
Debra Barber Cardiff Airport’s Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer spoke to the assembled guests and explained that the airport was constantly growing, and the need to protect the safety and integrity of it’s passengers and staff as well as the firefighters themselves was paramount, and the Strikers ticked all the right boxes. Debra also went onto explain that with the size of investment the vehicles will be expected to last for a long number of years, which will be taken care of by Terberg Ltd, Oshkosh’s UK dealer.
Jim Johnson President of Oshkosh’s Fire & Rescue Segment also addressed the guests and explained that no Oshkosh fire truck is the same as every vehicle is 100% built by hand and tailored exactly to the customers requirements. Great pride as well as tradition goes into the construction of every vehicle that leaves their door and as part of the tendering process, Debra and Ray flew to the States to see firsthand, the progress of their soon to be new arrivals.
After a short demonstration of the Strikers capabilities a live burn prop was lit and then extinguished from the Strikers forward facing monitor. The HRET was also deployed piercing an aircraft fuselage and extinguishing the fire inside whilst keeping the crew a safe distance away from the fire.
After a spot of lunch, the three school children who had won the competition for naming of the three Strikers were presented prizes of model Strikers by Debra and Jim. The winning names were Merlin, Firefly and Y Ddraig Goch which when translated means The Red Dragon. Kelly Toshack who is the Deputy Headteacher at Rhws Primary School commented “The pupils thoroughly enjoyed the assembly the fire crew delivered which introduced the competition. It provided them with a real opportunity to learn more about fire safety and get creative by thinking and researching Welsh history, famous people and celtic icons. This helped them choose the new names for the fire vehicles.”
For more information, go to www.cardiff-airport.com