New firefighting robot can take the heat

Published: 10th December 2015

Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott and Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Commissioner Greg Mullins today unveiled Australia’s first remote-controlled firefighting robot.

The TAF 20 (Turbine Aided Firefighting) machine can move cars out of the way with its bulldozer blade, clear smoke from a building with a high-powered fan, as well as spray water mist or foam for 60-metres and blast water for 90-metres.

It is the only one of its kind in Australia and joins Fire & Rescue NSW's arsenal of high-tech firefighting equipment, including state-of-the-art helmets delivered to all stations across NSW and low frequency sirens on fire trucks to alert distracted pedestrians.

"This puts FRNSW firefighters ahead of the game when it comes to managing hazardous fires and other emergencies where firefighters cannot safely approach the flames, for example when there is a danger of explosion," Mr Elliott said.

"We saw how effective the TAF 20 was last week at a Botany factory fire in Sydney, and it will be of great use for our firefighters in battling other large and complex fires, including bushfires.

"The NSW Government has invested $310,000 in this technology and it is money well spent in ensuring the safety of our firefighters and the people of NSW."

FRNSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said the TAF 20 will be based at Alexandria and can be quickly deployed to any incident across the state by road or air.

"It can be remotely operated up to 500-metres away and sent into situations where it is too dangerous for firefighters, which is a huge advantage as the safety of firefighters is my highest priority," Commissioner Mullins said.

"It also has a bulldozer blade which can clear obstacles like cars during a tunnel incident, or debris following an explosion."