Training day for firefighters
ALPHADALE Rural Fire Service Brigade members polished up their truck, donned their gear and set off for Glen Innes yesterday to participate in the 10th annual regional exercises this weekend.
They will join another 30 local firefighters representing the Northern Rivers in a series of simulation exercises designed to develop new skills, hone old ones and enhance their teamwork.
About 450 firefighters and some 65 fire trucks are expected from throughout the whole of Region North.
RFS Region North manager, Superintendent Michael Burt, was there to see the boys off along with Inspector Helen Carlos who spent the final minutes fussing over the boys.
“Someone’s got to love them,” she quipped.
Insp Carlos said the firefighters would experience a range of life-like scenarios including a car wreck with trapped passengers and a plane crash, among others.
She said the exercises were extremely realistic and often included drama students who played the victims.
“One year we set up a car wreck and ‘trapped’ four young actors in it pretending to be drunk and fighting,” she said.
“The plane crash is new this year and includes a real plane shell on fire.
“It’s not an uncommon scenario; we’ve had crop dusters and line-inspectors go down before.
“The crews will learn basic first response for these incidents.
“It’s a great opportunity for crews to learn how to deal with incidents they haven’t yet experienced.”
The exercises are a logistical undertaking in themselves, taking up to 150 staff and volunteers to host.
They include an organising committee of about seven, 12 marshals, 25 catering staff, 60 scenario staff and a further nine members of the Incident Management Team.
Insp Carlos said the social element was just as important as the training as it helped to build relationships and friendships that were crucial to teamwork and morale.