Cen­tre is a valu­able as­set

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Adam McCleery adam.mccleery@cnbtimes.com.au

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.

PHOTO: ADAM MCCLEERY

FIRE TRAIN­ING: Crews have been util­is­ing the space since it was of­fi­cially opened.

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