When a threat becomes real
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.