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How group officers plan for risk: part two
Over a series of five interviews, we talk to group officers across our regions to find out about their local risks and how they prepare for the summer.
Shane Scoble, Strathloddon Group, District 2
It’s not just fires on the minds of Strathloddon Group members – every season they expect flash flooding.
“Fires and floods; we get a double whammy here,” said Strathloddon Group Officer Shane Scoble.
“Every brigade in our group since about 2011 has had flooding in their area. Floods are a concern especially for Campbells Creek, Guildford, Newstead and Baringhup brigades.
“The Loddon River runs through the centre of Guildford, Newstead and Baringhup and the township of Campbells Creek is also prone to floods.
“We can never tell what kind of season it’s going to be – we take it as it comes.
“It’s patchy all the way along; some areas have a lot of grass, some loose grass at a reasonable length and others barely any. But we can say it’s definitely drying off.
“We’ve already had a couple of small fires mainly from burn-offs that people have started on the weekend and left burning.”
Every brigade in the Strathloddon Group participated in their usual pre-season training exercises.
“We recently ran a group exercise which involved a round-robin of activities including map reading, pumping and relaying. We even had some live fire and hay bales on fire. We also focused on draughting water from tanks and tankers to get people back in order of how to draught water from stationary sources.
“We will also be involved in LCF [local command facility] training. It will be a refresher for those who work in the LCF over the summer season.”
The Strathloddon Group prides itself on its strong relationships with emergency services counterparts in the area, as well as the Mt Alexander Shire Council.
“We have a very strong Emergency Management Municipal Committee as well as a Municipal Fire Prevention Committee.
“The Mt Alexander Shire supports us strongly with bulk water tankers, graders and backhoes.
“We all work together and we’re all on the same page.”
Written by Nicole Russo
Photo by Megan Carroll
Read about Group Officer Jo ussing.