Lo­cal vol­un­teers at the fire coal face

Mansfield Courier - - NEWS - By DAVID MIMS

LO­CAL vol­un­teers from Mans­field and Tolmie fire bri­gades re­cently joined forces in the Hazel­wood open cut coal mine fire fight.

An­swer­ing the call for a three day swing shift at the coal face were De­nis Mahoney from Mans­field, along with Tolmie mem­bers Rob Allen, Al­li­son Maloney and Chuck Kra­mar­czuk.

The team was flown out earl y on Sun­day morn­ing a cou­ple of weeks ago to spend three days help­ing to ex­tin­guish the fire that had been go­ing for a num­ber of weeks, but which is now un­der con­trol.

The shift work was very dif­fer­ent to what a nor­mal strike team might en­counter, dic­tated by the dan­ger­ous na­ture of the sit­u­a­tion, and the pres­ence of po­ten­tially lethal gases.

“Our shifts were of two hour blocks, af­ter which we had to come in for a com­plete health check to test for car­bon monox­ide lev­els, then we’d have a two hour rest then back on again,” Mr Mahoney said.

“We were sit­u­ated in large 400 litre ca­pac­ity tankers, and fought the fire us­ing joy sticks to di­rect large jets of wa­ter onto the coal face.

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