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It's all about the flow
It all began with a word from the captain: a number of us had been selected for a Pilot Advanced Pumps and Hydraulics course.
Considering the course involved theory and practical over nine sessions, it was to be a big commitment not only for the participants but also for the instructors who had invested considerable time in putting the course together.
From the outset under the guidance of Operations Officer Gavin Wright and Station Officer Glenn Bosua, we were challenged to rethink what many of us had taken for gospel over many years.
The theory sessions held at South Morang Fire Station each Tuesday night had the group challenge pre-conceived ideas, whilst getting a better understanding of pumps, flows, friction loss, pump placement, pressure, branches, application rates and water sources.
The practical sessions reinforced the theory, proving to all in attendance that we could do more with what we had, and understanding at the same time the limitations.
It was clear from the beginning the passion SO Bosua and OO Wright had for the course.
Evident also was the interest generated amongst the course participants.
The conversations at the end of each session amongst the members of my brigade who attended I'm sure were duplicated at the many other brigades also participating.
The practical sessions were able to demonstrate to us all the effective use of pumps and hose lays that would take some time to set up and dismantle.
Then in the last practical session we were introduced to the Scoresby Hose Layer. What a magnificent piece of equipment that is able to lay down and pick up two kilometres of 100mm Hose.
If you're ever given the chance to see the Scoresby Hose Layer in action, make sure you do.
If we ever get a job that requires lots of water over a distance, I will be requesting its deployment.
The course drew participants from Whittlesea, Mernda, South Morang, Plenty, Diamond Creek, Yarrambat and Doreen.
Special thanks to the brigades from Scoresby, Epping and Sunbury for your support at the practical sessions.
Congratulations to SO Glenn Bosua and OO Gavin Wright for having the foresight to put the Pumps and Hydraulics Pilot Course 2016 together.
I hope it is the first of many more as I and many more like me have come away with a new appreciation of what we can do if we challenge ourselves.
*Operations Officer Gavin Wright provided the following information about the objectives of the course:
- To develop students into highly proficient pump operators on a range of CFA appliances
- To improve students' knowledge of hydraulics, relay pumping and hose streams
- To develop a skilled base of Water Supply sector commanders who can implement plans to efficiently supply the required amount of water to suppress large scale and long duration fires
- To increase students' knowledge in relation to fire engineering and fire suppression systems that can be utilised during a fire