At remote mine sites like Oaky Creek, it can be difficult to get firefighting equipment onto location at the time of an emergency and often by the time an emergency crew with a firefighting appliance arrives, it is too late.
Flexibladder (Flexi Tank's Australian distributor) has installed a 300,000-litre tank at the Central Queensland site, giving Oaky Creek water at the location as a short-term solution while long-term permanent infrastructure is installed.
Further, Flexibladder can also integrate long-term fire safety plans, as its 10-year warranty and 20-year plus life expectancy against heat and sun means it has the durability to reliably perform over many years.
Australian director David Bennett says Flexibladder tanks combine strength and flexibility, making them tough enough to withstand harsh mining conditions, while being flexible enough to be used across a range of applications.
“Flexibadder tanks are extremely tough and very strong. Flexibility is our strength,” Bennett tells Safe to Work.
To install the Oaky Creek tank, the civil engineering team first built a pad area in the chosen location and levelled it to ensure the tank was on a level surface as per the manufacturers’ pad preparation requirements.
Another advantage of Flexibladder’s tanks is they can be installed within hours of arriving at a site and the mine can start using them straight away.
In the summer of 2019-20, Australia saw first-hand how important it is to have a solid supply of water and firefighting solutions, experiencing bushfire equal to some of the worst in our history.
With the 300,000-litre tank, Oaky Creek can now use it to store water for firefighting purposes, giving the mine site the capability to start fighting fires before emergency services arrive.
With minutes often being the difference between substantial and devastating fire damage, Flexibladder tanks are a fantastic solution for operations located at a distance from emergency services.
Once emergency services arrive on site, the Flexibladder tanks also give them a large on-site supply of water, meaning trucks do not have to make as many trips to and from the site when battling a larger blaze like a bushfire.
“Flexibladder tanks allow you to pump water and start fighting the fire direct from the tank as a standalone mass storage resource connected directly to a firefighting system if town water is not available or has been cut off due to infrastructure damage,” Bennett says.
“The other aspect where our tanks are helpful is actually delivering water to the fire. It is all well and good to have the truck there doing the firefighting, but when it runs out of water, you need to send the truck away for more water.
“While waiting for the main tanker to arrive there’s all this extra downtime, which, if you have a Flexibladder tank strategically located, the main tanker can unload large volumes then head off to get another load while the smaller firefighting appliances come and refill from the continuous flow of the bladder.”