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Bogong Group Exercise 2012
The Bogong Group, made up of 14 brigades stretching from Falls Creek through to Stanley, met at the Dederang Recreation Reserve (staging area) for an early and sunny October Sunday morning.
Well the Bogong group exercise was a huge success after weeks of planning by the Group Training Officers and the support from neighbouring Wodonga group personnel. A particular thank you to Scott Schilling for attending our GMT meetings and providing example sheets of a round robin exercise they have been running for a number of years quite successfully.
There was an opening welcome from GO Ron Leary extended to all and a delivery of the SMEACS briefing by Neil Hillas. He said there would be a round robin style event including a draughting, pumping and (Where’s Wally) fireground questions also with safety and survival and an MVA rescue demonstration by the Mount Beauty brigade. All five different sectors were supported by Bogong Group DGOs and brigade captains - there was plenty to do.
A promise to crews that the focus would be on mentoring, the morning’s activities were about learning and skills maintenance - this provided a positive start to our exercise.
Formed into 11 teams and sent on their way at 09.30 hrs, crews were able to practise their skills in a friendly and supportive environment. With each crew rotating around each different prop every 20 min, the morning went quickly. This was a positive experience as promised for those brigades and crews in attendance.
With an opportunity also to show off the new district transportable staging hut / div comm arrangements, Group and local brigade people had a perfect location to operate their communications from.
After an AAR debrief of crews and personnel conducted by DGO Jack Hicks about their views on how the morning went and with closing remarks from OM Paul King about fireground safety, leaders' intent and forecast expected conditions this year, we had a well-earned feed supplied by the local Dederang brigade.
Trucks departed for their home stations at 1pm. All were saying they had a good time and appreciated the opportunities with many different prop rotations in a couple of hours with neighbouring brigades to practise their fireground skills all together in the one place. They are also looking forward to the next time we can get together in training at this level.
Many of those members in attendance value the opportunity to take back to their brigades some ideas from the morning for future reference with training at their home.
Thank you also to Maureen Piera for her assistance with the photography during the morning. If you would like to see more photos, there a little YouTube clip put together here: