News & Media

Advancing Orbost youth

By: Leith Hillard

Category: Youth & Juniors

  2.12 PM 24 August, 2015

Location: District 10 News, District 11 News, District 12 News

Views: 2624

While Newmerella brigade’s Graham Wilson has recently stepped down from fire equipment maintenance and the Orbost Group secretary and treasurer roles, he’s not giving up teaching Advance, previously known as Youth Crew, at Orbost Secondary College.

“I’m enjoying it so much,” said Graham. “Treat the kids with respect and you get respect in return. I’m seeing so many young people flourishing including school refusers. Advance is a place to succeed if you’re not succeeding in the classroom and have some fun along the way.”

Operating from Orbost Fire Station, Graham and Orbost Captain Dick Johnstone offer a comprehensive program for Years 9 and 10 students who gain qualifications in Minimum Skills and Level Two First Aid.

“They learn their way around Orbost’s new tanker,” continued Graham, “and we get them to the lagoon to learn draughting and boosting from a pumper to a tanker. They take it in turns to be crew leader but they also thrive on competition and we do some Juniors-style exercises with a stopwatch. We do the two-line fog attack and they go through the burnover drill on a hot day. There’s also map reading and radio procedures and they went out with DELWP to assess fuel loads.”

Interaction with every emergency service is one of the program highlights with visits to SES, the new Marlo joint fire brigade and Coast Guard facility and being shown over an ambulance. Once a year, the group travels to West Sale for a day of live fire training.

“The kids have asked for two days,” said Graham. “They learn so quickly and I only have to show them things once. They’re a disciplined group at the end, with a sense of esteem and achievement.”

Last Updated: 24 August 2015