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District 23 team building
As CFA is all about its people, District 23 staff participated in a team building exercise at the Victorian Emergency Management Training Centre – Wangaratta Campus on Friday 17 July.
The event was organised by Acting Operations Manager Terry Heafield, Pad Supervisor Richie Gardner and Instructor Andrew Gaston.
The morning had a number purposes including team building, educating office staff in fire safety and in methods of suppression, and building morale.
The morning was well attended with most staff making themselves available including the staff of the Wangaratta Fire Station and other special guests including Virginia Lister Manager Operational Training and Development for North East Region.
Included in the activities was extinguisher training, home fire safety, the use of fire blankets, five-person fog attack on gas cylinders, external firefighting, breathing apparatus, search and rescue and a final display from the fire station staff.
During the search and rescue drill, a two-storey house prop was filled with sugar smoke and teams had to find their way through the building with limited vision. Therefore team work and communication was the key to a successful outcome, which are skills that should be easily adapted to the office on a day-to-day basis.
The use of fire extinguishers was another valuable exercise as all CFA cars/offices have extinguishers and having training in using them increased the confidence and knowledge of staff who hadn't been exposed to them before.
The five-person fog attack scenario also builds trust and understanding within the group, increasing team spirit, friendship and loyalty, which will have a dynamic impact around the office.
As a follow-up from the exercise participants were given a photo of themselves doing exercises with the group.
A special thanks must go to Richie Gardner who agreed to put on the morning for the group and Instructor Andrew Gaston who facilitated the exercises on the day.