The International Fire Training Centre (IFTC), the world’s leading aviation fire training centre operated by Serco, has this month begun a two-month trial of the latest Rosenbauer ‘PANTHER’ Fire Truck, the industry-leading accident and emergency response vehicle used by airports in over 80 countries, including America, New Zealand and South Africa.
The Rosenbauer PANTHER has been synonymous with speed, safety, design and outstanding firefighting performance for over 20 years. It was even used in the 2011 film Transformers: Dark of the Moon as Sentinel Prime. The newest model can accelerate from 0 to 80 km/h is within 25 seconds, or less, and can carry 12,000l of water, 1,500l of foam and 250 kg of powder. It is also fitted with a unique 16.5m STINGER extinguishing arm for close proximity firefighting on aircraft undercarriages, engines and spill fires.
Using leading-edge technology, the STINGER HRET (high reach extendable turret) features a “Piercing Tool” which can penetrate aircraft fuselage to quickly reduce the internal temperature to survivable levels. The firefighter operating the STINGER benefits from military-grade Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) thermal imaging equipment to ensure the operation can be performed safely. This is further enhanced through the on-board cameras that provide a 360° birds’ eye view of the appliance.
The innovative vehicle is specifically intended for use at airports and meets the safety requirements required by leading aviation governing bodies such as the International Civil Aviation Authority, the National Fire Protection Association and the Federal Aviation Administration, as well as corresponding to American, European and Japanese standards.
Subject to successful completion of the current trial, IFTC plans to permanently station a PANTHER at its Teesside facility for use in training exercises, by 2017.
Serco’s Gary Watson, IFTC’s business operations manager, said: “We want to train first-class firefighters using first-class equipment so the whole team is thrilled to have the chance to put the famous Rosenbauer PANTHER through its paces. The truck is already proving popular with delegates and - subject to the success of ongoing trials - we believe this is an important investment that will keep us at the forefront of aviation fire training, providing firefighters across the globe with the necessary skills and experience to deal expertly with high risk emergencies”.
Each year, IFTC trains 10,000 firefighters from around the world. Over the coming months the IFTC looks forward to welcoming delegations from Greece, Iceland and Qatar.