News & Media

Brigades support MotoGP

By: Duncan Russell

Category: Events / Fundraising / Offers

  10.50 PM 5 November, 2012


Location: District 8 News

Views: 3031

(By Scott Hamilton)
On the weekend of 26-28 October 2012, CFA crews converged on the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit to provide fire protection and suppression for the 2012 Air Asia Motorcycle Grand Prix.

The MotoGP is the largest Major Event run in Regional Victoria and is held as a result of over 6 months planning by the Major Events Committee in Bass Coast and District 8.

A highlight of the weekend for the crews was the visit on Saturday by Chief Officer Euan Ferguson and Mrs Ferguson. They were given a full tour of the MotoGP and shown the hazards that we contend with in such a large international sporting event. The Chief was very impressed and surprised at the size and complexity of the risk that CFA protects during the event.  It was fantastic for our volunteers who attended the circuit as part of the crew on Saturday to meet the Chief. We thank you Chief for giving up your day to be part of the excitement of MotoGP.

CFA is represented in the lead up to these events on the Bass Coast Shire’s Major Events and Community Safety Advisory Committee and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation’s Police and Emergency Services Committee. This involves attendance at planning meetings and Emergency Management Exercises where all the Emergency Services work through a series of real-life problems that could confront the running of the event.

From all these planning meetings the District 8 Major Events Committee then develop an Operations Management Plan to deal with the additional risk that MotoGP brings.

The MotoGP this year was the biggest ever with record crowds each day.  In total a crowd of 122,465 attended the three days which was an increase of 7,000 over the previous highest attendances.  Combined with this there were over 6,500 campers who stayed on site in the two campgrounds. 

These figures can certainly be attributed to Casey Stoner announcing his retirement from MotoGP this year and the fact that the World Championship was decided at Phillip Island.

An additional and new attraction this year was the inclusion of a round of the Australian Supercross Championship with three World Champions competing over the weekend. This was a huge success with the patrons at the GP.

CFA Event Commander was Operations Officer Peter Lucas who was supported each day by another Operations Officer and Two Senior Station Officers and the Bass Coast Group Officer.

To provide protection to the event CFA operated 3 fire stations on site. There were 2 outfield stations equipped with Lang Lang’s 3.4C Tanker and Dandenong’s 2.4C Tanker. The infield site equipped with the District 8 Spare Type 3 Heavy Pumper. Also infield to act as the GP Control was the Patterson River MCV.

An important and often unnoticed part of our operations at MotoGP is the provision of fire safety audits on a daily basis. These audits are conducted by the Infield and Outfield Safety Officers. Due to the complexity of this years event an additional team of Safety Officers was used to ensure that the audits were completed in a timely and professional manner. To do this the Safety Officers used the Wonthaggi Ultralite and Mules from CFA Training Colleges at Bangholme and Fiskville. A lot of background work was completed by SSO’s Cherry and Owen to produce a very professional audit report that the Grand Prix Corporation was very happy with.

Prior to the event commencing, District 8 Community Safety Fire Safety Officers completed a thorough inspection to ensure building & fire safety compliance issues are addressed. The Dangerous Goods Inspection Team from CFA Headquarters inspects the Dangerous Goods storage and handling to ensure compliance of the event.  These inspections are done in consultation with Bass Coast Shire Council and WorkSafe.

Whilst the trucks and crews are very much in the public eye at the MotoGP, behind the scenes a full sized ECC is running with representatives from each of the Emergency Services and Security as well as the Australian Grand Prix Corporation to ensure that things are quickly, professionally and seamlessly dealt with. The Chief was very interested to visit the ECC and see the centre in operation for himself. A secondary Bass Coast Shire MECC is also established in Cowes for the duration of the event.

Brigades that had members attend the event included Baxter, Boneo, Corinella, Cranbourne, Dalyston, Frankston, Koo Wee Rup, Lang Lang, Patterson River, Pearcedale, Sebastopol (D15), Skye, Springvale, Wangaratta (D23) and Wonthaggi. 

In addition to this the Phillip Island and San Remo Brigades crew their stations at differing times over the weekend to ensure operational response. With the influx of over 122,000 people traffic congestion becomes a major concern and it extremely hampers response times as the road network, particularly in Cowes becomes grid locked. Each day and night entertainment and displays are held in Cowes with large parts of the business precinct closed off for pedestrian access only.

To successfully run such an event means borrowing lots of equipment and the Major Events committee would like to thank CFA Communications for their ongoing support, the Cranbourne DMO Workshops, District 7 for the loan of their headsets, CFA Headquarters for the loan of TIC Cameras and CBR Equipment, Hallam Fire Station for PPE including Gas and Splash suits and Oxygen equipment, Dandenong and Lang Lang Brigades for their tankers, Bangholme College for CABA resources and use of their mule and Fiskville for the use of their mule. We would also like to thank the staff of District 8 HQ for their support.

The District 8 Major Events committee would like to acknowledge and thank the members of the Phillip Island, San Remo and broader Bass Coast Group for their support of the MotoGP. Without their support the event would not be as successful as it is. This is particularly evident on Sunday night when a large proportion of attendees head home. 

The MotoGP essentially went off without a hitch with CFA responding to only a couple of small events during the days and a number of reported campground fires over the 3 nights of the event.

Photos. (All Photos are courtesy of SSO Richard Owen)

Photo 1

Casey Stoner returning to the pits with his Australian Flag after his victory riding past the infield fire station. 

Photo 2.

Outfield Tanker Crews from Friday.

Background.  Lang Lang’s 3.4C, District 8 Spare Type 3 Heavy and Dandenong’s 2.4C.

Front (L-R).  Sue Jenner, Mark O’Callaghan, Kathryn Sloan, Jason Boezalt, Caleb Ratten, Scott Edwards and David Milnes.

Photo 3.

Infield Crews from Friday.

Background.  Patterson River’s MCV which acts as GP Control during the event.

Foreground.  Jason Allisey, Bill Cook, Darren McGrath, Angelo Giannakas, Andy Waterson, Joe Jansen, Greame Symons, Rachel Levey, Terry Becker and Glen Shaw. 

Last Updated: 10 November 2012