When a threat be­comes real

Euroa Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

VI­O­LET town Fire Brigade vol­un­teers have just con­ducted a dra­matic burn-over drill, the CFA ex­er­cise that sim­u­lates the safety pro­ce­dure they will use if the tanker and crew are trapped by a bush­fire.

Brigade Cap­tain Andrew An­der­son said the burn-over drill is part of the vol­un­teers’ prepa­ra­tion for sum­mer.

“Every CFA Brigade in the state does the burn- over drill each year, it’s one of the many pro­fes­sional skills used by vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers on the front line,” Capt An­der­son said.

The drill in­volves the crew leader sig­nalling the crew with three blasts of the horn, and the vol­un­teers shut­ting down the hoses, board­ing the truck, drop­ping re­flec­tive cur­tains that block the in­tense ra­di­ant heat of the fire from pen­e­trat­ing the cabin, send­ing an emer­gency may­day call, switch­ing on lights and sirens, then ac­ti­vat­ing a spray sys­tem that bathes the truck in wa­ter, pro­tect­ing it and the crew un­til the dan­ger has passed.

“This is just a small part of the pro­fes­sional train­ing CFA vol­un­teers do, and it’s a re­minder of the value of pre­par­ing for sum­mer,” Capt An­der­son said.

“Prepa­ra­tion is just as im­por­tant for mem­bers of the pub­lic; and now is the time for every fam­ily to make their plan for what to do if they are threat­ened by fire.

Capt An­der­son noted that, “As re­sult of the wet win­ter and spring there is now a large amount of grass in the pad­docks and road sides, which is rapidly dry­ing off. Hence it is ex­pected that we will again have busy fires sea­son with the po­ten­tial of large grass fires.

Vol­un­teer Fire Brigades Vic­to­ria (VFBV) Dis­trict 22 Pres­i­dent Leonard Bal­four said Vi­o­let Town is one of the 73 brigades in this dis­trict that not only pro­tects the lo­cal area all year round, but of­ten pro­vides crews to deal with ma­jor in­ci­dents in other parts of the state.

“The 3000 vol­un­teers of this dis­trict are part of CFA’s surge ca­pac­ity; its abil­ity to call on thou­sands of trained, ex­pe­ri­enced vol­un­teer fi refi ghters to deal with a ma­jor in­ci­dent at any­time, any­where in the state, while still pro­tect­ing our lo­cal com­mu­nity,” Mr Bal­four said.

“It takes a na­tion­ally recog­nised qual­i­fi­ca­tion to be­come a CFA vol­un­teer fire­fighter, and your lo­cal CFA vol­un­teers are al­ways train­ing to keep their emer­gency re­sponse skills sharp. They will be ready when you need them, and you should be ready too,

“Your fam­ily will be safer if you make a plan that suits your own par­tic­u­lar needs and sit­u­a­tion, so that every mem­ber of the fam­ily knows what to do.

“This is vi­tal for all Vic­to­ri­ans, whether you live in ru­ral ar­eas, the lo­cal town or a re­gional city.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on how to be pre­pared for sum­mer, go to emer­gency.vic.gov.au

And on hot, dry, windy days, stay in touch with lo­cal con­di­tions and warn­ings by tun­ing in to lo­cal ra­dio, call­ing the VicEmer­gency Hot­line ( 1800 226 226) or vis­it­ing emer­gency. vic.gov.au.

DE­BRIEF: Vi­o­let Town CFA crew mem­bers Char­lie Crocker (left), Mark McDon­ald, Steven Jef­frey, Dar­ren Jef­frey, Ross Withers, Di Borg, Karen Dunn and Rob­bie Rae come to­gether for a chat af­ter the burnover drill.

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