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CFA visits school from the sky
CFA visited one of the smallest schools in Victoria, dropping by from the sky in a helicopter – much to the delight of students.
Joined by representatives from Parks Victoria and DELWP, we landed the helicopter on Perseverance Primary School’s oval on Tuesday, 16 August, as part of an emergency planning exercise.
District 15 Operations Officer Wayne Rigg was on board and he considered the excited kids as the best part of the trip.
“It was a rare opportunity for them. They had so many questions – how long can we fly for? What other types of aircraft do we have? What does this button do inside the cockpit? – their enthusiasm was contagious,” Mr Rigg said.
“We take any opportunity to engage with communities, talking about fire safety and generally building rapport with local people.”
District 8 Operations Officer Paul Summons also took part, seeing it as a valuable exercise in preparing for the upcoming fire season.
“We identified eight landing areas on French Island for our aircraft equipment, which can be used for everything from fire fighting to evacuating people. We previously had only one in our existing plan,” Mr Summons said.
“This year, we’ve collaborated with EMV, Parks Victoria, Ambulance Victoria, VicPol and DELWP to develop a comprehensive emergency response plan that gets all agencies on the same page if and when an incident occurs on the island.
“French Island is unique in that it doesn’t belong to a local government council so previously each agency had its own plan. This new approach will streamline the way we respond to incidents in future.”
The French Island Fire Brigade is made up of volunteers and they attend around six bush fires each year, among other incidents. Members recently managed an air craft crash and subsequent fire, using their fine-tuned skills and resourcefulness to get the incident under control.