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Fortuna Group hazmat exercise
Sixty Firefighters from Fortuna Group brigades recently took part in a large-scale hazardous materials incident training exercise in Golden Square.
The exercise saw volunteer firefighters from Golden Square, Eaglehawk, Kangaroo Flat, Maiden Gully, Marong, Strathfieldsaye, Lockwood and Bendigo work alongside career firefighters from Bendigo and Shepparton on two separate chemicals that had spilt in Pickering Transport Yard.
Incident Controller Tim McNeilly (Golden Square Captain) said that the incident involved a simulated insecticide spill from a 1000litre IBC in the front trailer of a B-double and a pallet of 20-litre drums containing a simulated herbicide that had been pierced by a forklift.
The incident was ran from the Golden Square Field Operations Vehicle and was split into two sectors, Sector Commanders were Lieutenant Tyson Taylor from Golden Square dealing with the insecticide and Dan Miles from Eaglehawk brigade dealing with the herbicide.
The sector dealing with the 1000-litre IBC required 8 firefighters to don fully encapsulated Gas Suits and work in teams to identify the product and stop the leak. In order to give the crews further tasking to complete, a large flange was arranged that the crews had to pull apart using tools and then put back together while in the Gas Suits.
The sector dealing with the 20-litre drums utilised 8 firefighters in Splash Suits to identify the product and mitigate the leaks. These crews were able to experience using air bag equipment carried on Shepparton Heavy Hazmat to plug holes in the drums.
All firefighters wearing protective equipment were then required to make their way through decontamination provided by Shepparton's Hazmat unit. After exiting decontamination all firefighters were then required to proceed through BA control and Firefighter Rehabilitation provide by Golden Square's new Rehab unit.
Bendigo PE van refilled BA cylinders.
Exercise organisers Tim McNeilly and Hayden Allen (Eaglehawk Captain) said the day was intended to provide learning and experience opportunities for all involved and to build on relationships between local brigades and the career staff from Bendigo Fire Station.
Big thanks to Shepparton Fire Station for bringing over their Hazardous Material Response Unit. It was great to see so many brigades working alongside with one another.