Remote Controlled Firetrucks And Other Advanced Tech For Australian Disasters

Welcome to the future.

30/08/2016 12:27 PM AEST | Updated 30/08/2016 12:44 PM AEST

A shark detection drone, a fire tractor that can move cars out the way and a firetruck that can withstand falling trees are some of the latest innovations in emergency response that designers are hopeful will save lives.

These inventions are to be showcased at AFAC16 - Fire and Emergency Management Conference ahead of the Australian summer disaster season.

AFAC CEO Stuart Ellis said Australia needs robust defenses again natural disaster and technology can aid in this endeavour.

"In the last five years, we have seen catastrophic disasters in our region including the Brisbane floods, bushfires across the country and the Christchurch earthquakes -- each event has reinforced the need for emergency managers to think differently about how they respond, and their role in the recovery of the local community" he said.

One innovation is the TAF20 (Turbine Aided Firefighting). Its bulldozer blade has the ability to move cars out of the way and it can blast water the length of a football field.

NSW Fire and Rescue
Getting down to business.

It can also blast firefighting foam and mist up to 60 metres, and includes a powerful fan to disperse thick smoke.

And the best part -- it can be operated by remote up to 500m away, which gives extra protection to firefighters facing an inferno or possible explosion.

The Westpac Little Ripper Drone uses infrared technology to detect sharks and locate people for rescue at sea and on land.

It can then send this information to controllers up to five nautical miles away.

Wolter Peeters/Fairfax Media
Cheaper and more efficient than using a full helicopter.

The Vaper 55 helicopter drone uses a front-mounted camera to helps it locate its quarry.

It can also carry a 'rescue pod', tailored to snow, sea or land rescues, which could hold, for example, a three-person raft and an EPIRB personal beacon.

This isn't the first time we've seen drones do some incredible things, they are now used in agriculture, postal delivery and to show the beauty of the world's most iconic locations.

Then there is the heavy duty UNI-MOG, which Mercedes Benz promises can slough through fire and mud.

It is fitted with a fire protected cabin for crews and has technology that reduces the risk of the trucks overturning when faced with a falling tree.

Mercedes Benz
Perfect for the Australian environment, this firetruck is built to withstand the harshest of conditions.

Dr Richard Thornton, CEO of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre, said experts would be on hand to talk to landowners and hazard managers about the latest research.

"There is no silver bullet for natural hazards safety, and we must continue to ask the difficult and complex questions to identify what we do not know," Thornton said.

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