Fire-fighters put through their paces

A GROUP of 18 Gloucester-Great Lakes Rural Fire Service fire-fighters were put through their paces over an intense four-day training course late last month.

The fire-fighters were faced with incidents ranging from flaming LP gas bottles to gaining a safe entry to a burning building. 

The realistic re-creation of emergency situations was part of ongoing training provided to RFS fire-fighters to develop safe and effective responses to real-life situations. 

“For the NSW Rural Fire Service, protecting lives and property extends beyond fighting bushfires,” the district manager of the Gloucester-Great Lakes RFS Superintendent Jim Blackmore said.

“Our fire-fighters are trained to respond to incidents such as structure fires, providing fire protection at motor vehicle accidents, or dealing with gas and fuel fires.”

Superintendent Blackmore said the village fire-fighter course run at Gloucester over two weekends was a comprehensive test of the theory and practice of safe fire-fighting.

The characteristics of structure fires, techniques for suppressing gas and fuel fires and effective identification of hazards from electricity to hazardous materials are all subjects covered by the course. 

Crews manned fire trucks and rolled into the Gloucester fire control centre training facility time after time to be confronted by simulations set up by Rural Fire Service instructors.  

Obscured ‘victims’, failed hose-lines and unexpected ‘hazardous materials’ were all tricks thrown in by instructors to test the correct response of the fire-fighters. 

“I feel our community should feel very proud that our RFS volunteers are willing to put so much time and energy into this training,” Superintendent Blackmore said. 

Brigades taking part included Barrington, Gloucester, Pacific Palms, Limeburners Creek, Green Point, Coomba Park, Bulahdelah and Wards River.

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