It took almost seven months, but Chris Raman, business development executive at Key Pietermaritzburg is finally ready to deliver the last of four fire trucks to respond to emergencies on the N3.
Raman told Dealerfloor he started working on the deal in May 2020. He selected the smaller Crew Cabs for emergency calls on the twisty dirt roads in Impendle and Richmond; and the bigger FSR 750 Crew Cabs for highway responses in the Midlands, operating from Ashburton and Mooi River fire stations.
Raman said lockdown delayed equipping the trucks for several months, as several key components, like pumps and power take-off points (PTOs), had to be imported. He said the trucks are equipped to respond to house and vehicle emergencies.
Raman handed the first two trucks, both Isuzu NPR 400 Crew Cabs, to uMgungundlovu District Municipality on 19 December 2020.
uMgundgundlovu’s Head of Community Services, Thabisle Ndlela, said the municipality had budgeted R17 million for the four fire trucks.
Mayor Thobekile Maphumulo said at the handover function that the district municipality had been unable to buy new fire engines for ten years, with only two of its seven emergency trucks in working order.
“We were failing to honour our mandate as the district municipality when it comes to responding to disasters, and we had to depend on other municipalities to help us,” Maphumulo said.
She added the two nimble Isuzu NPR 400 Crew Cabs would be deployed on the rural roads in Impendle and Richmond, while the bigger FSR 750 Crew Cab trucks will work along the N3 highway between Ashburton and Mooi River.
Maphumulo said the trucks will lessen uMgundgundlovu’s reliance on Durban’s emergency services. “Often with disasters, it’s a matter of life and death so we want to be in a position where we don’t have to wait for people to come all the way from Durban with their equipment to respond to emergencies,” she told the media.
According to data provided by the N3 Toll Concession (N3TC), single vehicle crashes – where a vehicle leaves the road owing to the driver falling asleep or brake failure – are the most common type of crash on the N3 Toll Route. Over 80% of these happen in clear weather conditions.
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