Centre is a valuable asset
THE North Burnett Disaster Management Centre in Gayndah continues to prove its worth to the region, with more training taking place at the site over recent months.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services area controller for Gayndah Archie Andrews said the centre was an excellent venue that allowed for better and more frequent training for emergency workers.
“Having all the materials in one place and not having to travel from site to site has proven to be efficient for us,” Mr Andrews said.
“Recently we conducted some hazardous materials training where we worked with fictitious materials to teach our personnel about the correct personal protection units and how to approach a particular action.”
Mr Andrews said training was essential to make good decisions in the field.
“Those approaches depend on the United Nations code on whether it is something you can pick up, sweep sway or whether you need to neutralise the material before doing any of that,” he said.
Each approach will differ depending on the hazardous material, a variety of which firefighters and emergency personnel could face each day.
“(These include) fuel spills at road traffic crashes, where there could be piles of liquids there that we need to help contain for safety and for the environment,” Mr Andrews said.
“Other materials could include ammonium nitrate, a fertiliser which if mixed with other components becomes explosive.”
Training and retraining are a major focus for QFES personnel, Mr Andrews said.
“We train all our new people but we also have an ongoing skills maintenance program, where we revisit types of activities on a regular basis to retrain and enhance skills and having the disaster centre to do that is great,” he said.
FIRE TRAINING: Crews have been utilising the space since it was officially opened.