Avalon Fire Station - 1972
Thornycroft Nubian LFT - click here for moreInternational AA130 Rescue Tender

This photo shows the Avalon airport Fire Station as it was in June 1972. The Station is thought to have been built in the 1950s when the airfield was developed as a flight testing base for the Government Aircraft Factory (GAF) and Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation. Their previous aerodrome, adjacent to their factories at Fisherman's Bend, Port Melbourne, became too small with the advent of a requirement for Sabre and Canberra production flight testing.

The Airport Fire Service was orginally provided by GAF, however it is thought that DCA took it over in 1968. During that era, before high-fidelity flight simulators, the civil airlines also used Avalon extensively as a training base.

The vehicle in the foreground is an International AA130 4 wheel drive Rescue Tender originally operated by the GAF Fire Service before DCA took over. It carried a 90 kg Dry
Chemical Powder (DCP) unit and had a 110 volt generator-driven power take off to power Francis lights (a type of searchlight) and electric saws. It also carried two Compressed Air Breathing Apparatus (CABA) sets and assorted rescue gear.

The appliance behind is a Thornycroft Large Fire Tender Mk 3 - click here for more information.

This Fire Station still exists (c.2007) although it has been modified several times since this photo was taken. After a period when the Aviation Rescue and Fire Fighting Service closed down at Avalon from the mid-1990s, it re-opened again in early 2007 to provide fire and resuce protection for increasing services by Jetstar Airlines.


Left: This close-up shows the logo carried by both vehicles.

(Photo: CAHS/Will Heitbrink collection)

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