Firies sharpen skills
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.