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Lang Lang BA training exercise
On 25 March Lang Lang Fire Brigade held their annual BA skills maintenance at Caldermeade farm. The night started with a BBQ and a briefing of the activities.
There were several scenarios running concurrently to test even the most experienced wearer down to a brand new firefighter. They had a split room filled with smoke and in teams they had to retrieve firefighting equipment and return it to the doorway.
The room is used as a dairy industry history showcase and a viewing room for the milking shed. Inside was a hose, a stand pipe, a branch, an adaptor and a hydrant stand. These were placed around the room in amongst butter churns, milk pails, life-size cow statues and various other dairy-related equipment.
The teams were told if another crew was already inside, then given a safety brief and told to go and find the pieces of equipment. They were given guidance on their search technique inside and as the crews came across the cows and other items there was much laughter. They all said it was a worthwhile exercise and they got a lot out of it.
Lang Lang CERT team (volunteer ambulance) were on-site to measure pulse, blood pressure and O2 before and after wearers had donned BA. They said it proved invaluable training for them as well as the whole gamut of ages to work with in an environment that is safe and well organised.
One of the other BA team activities was to use a guideline and get a bucket of water through a kids playground without spilling it. The crew had to communicate and show initiative to achieve the end result whilst having their facemask covered. With the assistance of Wonthaggi HAZMAT people were able to don and disrobe splash suits to ensure they were doing it correctly.
Lastly crews were given a rescue scenario of getting a person out of (or from under) a tractor that had some chemical drums around it. The crews had to identify the chemical and using the HAG guide explain the precautions for the FF and the tractor driver.
Frankston BA was kept busy ensuring all the cylinders were kept filled with crews from Lang Lang, Bayles, Heath Hill, Kernot, Wonthaggi and Koo Wee Rup all attending and use several cylinders each. This is an important skills maintenance session for all. Other benefits for the brigades are that all of their cylinders from the appliances get used and inspected by the guys from Frankston.
All who attended have said it was a great night “we get to practice our BA skills in a fun way whilst trying new and interesting scenarios”.
Special thanks must go to:-
The owners/managers of Caldermeade Farm for their continued support in allowing Brigades to use the property.
The Lang Lang CERT Team for doing the monitoring of members.
Frankston BA for ensuring the BA’s were all filled and cleaned.
Wonthaggi HAZMAT for giving members the exposure to splash suits.
1st Lt Michelle Venton for co-ordinating the whole evening.
As a side note, members from Lang Lang spent the next day assisting with a large DEPI/Melb Water burn. Once they returned to the station and re-stowed the trucks about 30 mins later they were paged to a large shed fire that was fully involved. The shed measuring around 30 x 50 metres contained tractors, trucks, motorbikes and other farm machinery.
Many of the support brigades had been at the training the night, so were able to reinforce the lessons learnt the night before. The fire took around 2 hours and 30 firefirefighters to bring under control. The cause is under investigation.
Story by Paul Little
Images by Keith Pakenham - CFA