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Truckin' in the Tropics: Craig Downs

Craig Downs
Craig Downs Alf Wilson

A FLASHY Rosenbauer Mk 8 Panther fire truck stood out during the Anzac Day street parade in Townsville on April 25.

Friendly Craig Downs was the driver of the yellow Rosenbauer which is based at Townsville airport/RAAF Base.

"Here at Airservices Australia Aviation Rescue Fire Fighting Service we have three of these vehicles to cover the airport and RAAF Base (including 5th Aviation Army) for first aid, fire, coverage of hot refuelling of Army helicopters, HAZMAT, water rescue, etc,” Craig told Big Rigs.

Leading firefighter Craig said the trucks had been at the base for two years and were an asset to capabilities.

"The technology just keeps getting better. Airservices is looking into the next cycle of newer vehicles as these have been in service for the last 10 years throughout Australia,” he said.

The Rosenbauer weighs 30,000kg, is 10870mm long, 3350mm wide and 3600mm high and has a turning circle of 28 metres.

It is powered by a Detroit Diesel DDEC IV 60 motor and has a top speed of 120km/h.

An estimated 40,000 men, women and children watched the Townsville parade which was covered by ABC radio.

Townsville is a garrison city with the giant Lavarack Barracks and RAAF base there and has a long military history.

Many people snapped pics of the soldiers, students, the veterans who travelled in World War II Jeeps, the SES vehicles and of course the Rosenbauer .

Students from more than 30 schools were among more than 4000 marchers who walked 2km from Strand Park to Anzac Park.

Fifty youths from remote Aboriginal and TSI communities who are residents at North Queensland Cowboys House marched.

Some of them told Big Rigs they were considering a career driving trucks in the Defence Forces.

Topics:  driver profiles tropics truckin' in the tropics

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