It might be hard to imagine a link between selling herbicides and fighting bush fires. For Andrew Wardle, Commercial Manager for ADAMA Australia, and volunteer fire fighter for the Strathalbyn Country Fire Service (CFS) in South Australia, the link became obvious when he took part in a CFS strike team fighting the Pinery fires in 2015.
While in the field, Andrew noticed fellow crew members struggling to open drums of firefighting foam. Precious moments were being lost while their bulky, heat-resistant gloves – sodden from hosing down flames – were slipping against the wet plastic lids. It occurred to him that the promotional spanners Adama supplied to their clients with their products might be the perfect solution to this slippery dilemma. Purpose-built for opening drums and bottles of agricultural chemicals, these spanners could just as easily be used by CFS volunteers at the coalface to open drums of foam, buckets of kitty-litter used for spills, or to tighten drums of hazardous materials.
The spanner heads were designed to fit two Australian standard lid sizes (58mm and 63mm) while the jaw would fit a standard 205L drum. With the containers used by the CFS adhering to these standard sizes, the spanners would make handling lids much easier for volunteers wearing bulky protective gear.
However, there was one change Andrew felt would benefit the design. The standard promotional spanners come in purple or green, but the drums of firefighting foam used by the CFS are green. This would make it all too easy to lose a green spanner, so Andrew suggested the spanners be manufactured in orange. This would allow them to stand out against green drums, burnt ground and the red or green tarps used for housing used and fresh cylinders for breathing apparatus.
Adama management loved the idea and agreed to donate 300 customised spanners to CFS crews around South Australia, including Andrew’s own brigade at Strathalbyn (pictured with Captain Jarryd Pfeiffer and fellow volunteers Andrew Mepham and Brenton Scott).
The response from the crews who have had the opportunity to use the spanners has been so positive that plans are underway to supply more to other regions.
For more information please contact:
Campaign & Brand Manager