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CFA assists Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix
The 2016 Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix has been run and won for another year.
Story by Scott Hamilton
CFA District 8 and Bass Coast Group have again supported the Phillip Island Brigade to ensure that a safe event was conducted. With crowds over the 3 days of approx. 90,000 plus additional crowds on the Island we needed to support and bolster the resources and crewing of the Phillip Island Brigade. The MotoGP is the largest annual event in Regional Victoria and involves 6 months of details pre planning for the event. CFA operates crews both infield and outfield. We do not look after the track or pit lane, this is the role of the Victorian Fire and Rescue Squad however we are responsible for the pit building and all the corporate facilities that are attached to it. The MotoGP is a major International Event.
“The event is a huge commitment for CFA and the Bass Coast Team and it wouldn’t be possible without the support that we receive and the “Can Do” attitude of our members who under trying weather conditions on Friday and Saturday ensured that a safe and successful event was conducted again this year” commented Operations Officer Paul Summons who was the MotoGP Commander.
The resources on hand for this year included at the track the VEMTC Craigieburn Scania Type 3 Pumper, Dandenong Fire Brigades 2.4C Tanker, Dalyston Fire Brigades Ultralight Tanker, Patterson River MCV, Bass Coast Group FCV and UTV. Due to the additional people on the Island a District Spare Type 3 Pumper was stationed at Phillip Island Fire Station along with the Brigades Type 3 Pumper, 3.4D Tanker and FCV.
“The Phillip Island MotoGP is an integral part of the Bass Coast Shire Calendar. Bass Coast is the major events capital of South East Region and this event has huge economic and social significance to both Phillip Island and the wider Bass Coast Community” said Bass Coast Group Officer Damien O’Connor “This event has an impact across the whole group area and our Brigades plan and prepare for these major events and the potential risks that they can create. This year’s MotoGP Multi Agency Emergency Management Exercise was hosted by the Bass Coast Group and Wonthaggi Fire Brigade at the Wonthaggi LCF and Fire Station. This exposure put CFA in the forefront of Emergency Planning in Bass Coast”
CFA had approx. 30 people on site each day of the event including having a representative in the MotoGP Emergency Coordination Centre. CFA ran an Operations Officer as MotoGP Commander and another as his Deputy each day as well as safety officers both infield and outfield. The safety officers undertook detailed fire and risk audits daily on behalf of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation. Our crewing is a mixture of volunteer and career staff from within CFA.
In the week prior to the event the CFA undertook Dangerous Goods and Structural Fire Safety Audits of the site in consultation with partner agencies Worksafe and Bass Coast Shire Council.
The event is also supported by the Cranbourne DMO workshops, CFA Communications Department, CFA ICT Department and the CFA PE Section with the provision of and servicing of equipment in support of the event. ESTA and the FSCC’s also support though the implementation of Temporary Turnout Arrangements for the event.
“Phillip Island Fire Brigade could not provide the level of protection that this event requires on its own without the support of Bass Coast Group and District 8 Staff” said Captain Gary Grace from the Phillip Island Fire Brigade. “While there was approx. 90,000 people at the MotoGP, there is also a huge number of visitors who stay in Cowes and on the Island and they also require the protection that Phillip Island Fire Brigade supply all year around. We have over 3 million visitors annually to the island ranging from motor sport fan, international tourists, schoolies, New Years Eve revellers to music festival party goers. We even have Cruise Ships visiting Cowes from time to time. Our risks are varied and complex with a huge focus on our natural attractions including the Penguins and Koala Reserves”
The crews attending the MotoGP were all fed like kings by the members of the Phillip Island Fire Brigade. Their breakfasts were that good that the word quickly spread and the Police and Ambulance crews were all calling in for egg and bacon toasties! This was an unexpected positive as it gave all the emergency services a chance to get to know one another and socialise, especially over dinner.
The Phillip Island Fire Brigade and the CFA thank all of our volunteers and career staff who participated in and made this a successful event. The Phillip Island Brigade was supported by members from the Baxter, Berwick, Corinella, Cranbourne, Dandenong, Devon Meadows, Frankston, Gembrook, Hampton Park, Koo Wee Rup, Lang Lang, Langwarrin, Mornington, Noble Park, Pakenham, Patterson River, Rosebud and Wonthaggi Fire Brigades.
We now will have a break and then start planning for Schoolies and then the New Years Eve period here on the Bass Coast and in Cowes!