Firies sharpen skills

Seymour Telegraph - - NEWS -

For­est Fire Man­age­ment Vic­to­ria’s sea­sonal fire­fight­ers are ready to re­spond to bush­fires this sum­mer af­ter com­plet­ing an in­ten­sive se­ries of train­ing camps re­cently.

The five-day course cov­ered the es­sen­tial el­e­ments of fire­fight­ing, in­clud­ing fire be­hav­iour, fire sup­pres­sion, planned burn­ing, team­work, safety and sur­vival tech­niques.

Crews are based at de­pots across the re­gion, in­clud­ing at Broad­ford, across the hot sum­mer months.

‘‘This sum­mer FFMVic has em­ployed 129 sea­sonal fire­fight­ers in the Hume Re­gion, 63 of whom are new re­cruits and have un­der­taken the train­ing,’’ Hume as­sis­tant chief fire of­fi­cer Aaron Kennedy said.

‘‘Sea­sonal fire­fight­ers work along­side our ex­pe­ri­enced per­ma­nent staff to re­spond to bush­fires and un­der­take planned burn­ing.

‘‘Fire­fight­ers have com­menced their roles ear­lier this year in re­sponse to the el­e­vated fire risk both on pub­lic and pri­vate land.’’

Since July, crews have re­sponded to more than 190 fires across the re­gion, many of which have been unat­tended camp fires.

‘‘Those statis­tics are re­ally dis­ap­point­ing and unat­tended camp­fires can lead to bush­fires, plac­ing the com­mu­nity and our fire­fight­ers at risk, as well as po­ten­tially dam­ag­ing the en­vi­ron­ment,’’ Mr Kennedy said.

The course was a mix of class­room and field-based ac­tiv­i­ties to pre­pare re­cruits for the de­mands of a for­est fire­fighter.

The fire­fight­ers learnt how to use a wide range of equip­ment, from wa­ter pumps and chain­saws, to op­er­at­ing our new G-Wag­ons and Un­i­mog fire­fight­ing tankers.

‘‘Re­cruits will con­tin­u­ally re­fine their skills at other train­ing cour­ses through­out the sea­son, mak­ing them more equipped to fight bush­fires,’’ Mr Kennedy said.

Vi­tal skills: Fire­fight­ers learned the es­sen­tial el­e­ments of fire­fight­ing, in­clud­ing fire be­hav­iour, fire sup­pres­sion, team­work, safety and sur­vival tech­niques.

Up-skilling: Sea­sonal fire­fight­ers com­pleted an in­ten­sive se­ries of train­ing camps re­cently.

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