Local volunteers at the fire coal face
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.