NUSHIP Canberra employs new firefighting equipment

Published on LEUT Emily Kennedy (author), POIS Ollie Garside (photographer)

Location(s): Melbourne

NUSHIP Canberra personnel test out the new fire nozzles on the ship's quarterdeck as part of damage control training onboard. (photo: POIS Ollie Garside)
NUSHIP Canberra personnel test out the new fire nozzles on the ship's quarterdeck as part of damage control training onboard.

NUSHIP Canberra's first duty watch teams have used the Fleet's newest fire fighting hose nozzles during training conducted on the Landing Helicopter Dock's quarterdeck while berthed in Williamstown, Victoria.

The brass nozzles are brand new to the fleet and will replace the existing 'Elkart' nozzles.

Canberra’s Hull Work Centre Manager, Chief Petty Officer Marine Technician Darren Harkins conducted the training for the Duty Watch teams.

“The main advantage with the new nozzles is that you can control the flow rate of water, where the Elkhart nozzle only has a single flow rate,” said Chief Petty Officer Harkins.

The new nozzles come in two sizes, the large one is 64 mm diameter and the smaller nozzle is 38 mm in diameter.

“The benefit of having a variable flow nozzle is that hose teams are able to use only the amount of water they need to fight a particular fire,” said Chief Petty Officer Harkins.

“For example the 34 mm nozzle can provide a minimum flow rate of 115 litres per minute into a compartment, which may be all that is required - therefore creating less free surface water in the compartment which is an important consideration in a ship. The maximum flow rate for the 34 mm nozzle is almost half a tonne of water per minute.

NUSHIP Canberra's Assistant Marine Engineering Officer, Lieutenant Adrian Crawford backs up Chief Petty Officer Brad Walsh as he tests out the new fire nozzles on the quarterdeck of NUSHIP Canberra berthed at BAE Systems dockyard in Williamstown, Victoria.

NUSHIP Canberra's Assistant Marine Engineering Officer, Lieutenant Adrian Crawford backs up Chief Petty Officer Brad Walsh as he tests out the new fire nozzles on the quarterdeck of NUSHIP Canberra berthed at BAE Systems dockyard in Williamstown, Victoria.

“Both nozzles pack a punch when fully charged with water,” he said.

The larger nozzles will be stored near the flight deck, hangar and heavy vehicle deck.

“The large nozzles are heavy and Duty Watch teams were quick to work this out - especially when we charged the hoses with water,” said Chief Petty Officer Harkins.

The training Canberra personnel conducted focused on getting the team used to the new nozzles, how to use them and how to adjust the flow.

“It will be very important to continue the basic fire fighting training with safety, teamwork and technique being the priority, not only for training with the new nozzles but right across our damage control training”, Chief Petty Officer Harkins said.

Canberra’s Duty Watch teams are conducting periods of intensive training ahead of taking responsibility for the LHD in harbour when the ship is handed over to Defence later this year.

More images at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20142309