Local and neighbouring brigades competed for the prestige of the Des Darmody Trophy on a warm and sunny day at the Wodonga Saleyards.
Kiewa Brigade (Bogong Group) and Chiltern, Carlyle and Indigo Valley Brigades (Rutherglen Group) joined forces to battle the clock against teams from Wodonga, Wodonga West, Baranduda, Bonegilla and Leneva. Teams competed in five exercises:
- ‘Tanker Soccer’- grassfire fighting skills, controlling the ball and ‘jetting’ a goal,
- ‘Make Water’- delivering water not once but three times before finally hitting the target,
- ‘Get Water’- every second and drop counts in this exercise of draughting,
- ‘Get Wet’- how well can you complete the safety and survival drills; and
- ‘Where’s Wally’ – Individual skills and team work in navigation and general operational questions.
The day was about learning new skills and refreshing skills that might have gathered a few cobwebs over the colder months.
District 24 HQ Brigade again manned the Wodonga FOV for all communications and volunteers from Beechworth (Bogong Group) and Chiltern Brigades (Rutherglen Group) applied their skills at trying to control the flow of the teams from when they started arriving till the end of the exercise using the D24 Staging Area Hut.
The exercise started off with a preseason briefing from District 24’s Operations Manager Paul King. The Chief Officer, Euan Ferguson, made a special visit to give a quick brief to the troops and to get a quick tour of the events before he headed off to the VFBV Forum at Tawonga.
The day shift from Wodonga’s Fire Station (permanent staff) also attended and joined a number of teams to top up numbers and participate in the team events.
Wodonga Rotary provided a great lunch to the 80 fire fighters, exercise marshals and incident management team. Whilst lunch was consumed Operation Officer John Bigham provided a post exercise briefing and the first prize was presented to Kiewa Brigade by Wodonga Mayor Cr Mark Byatt.
All members involved had fun and enjoyed catching up with members from other brigades.