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Nillumbik prepares for summer
The Nillumbik Group of Brigades held its pre-summer exercise yesterday with over 85 people involved in a number of exercises throughout the Eltham, Research and Warrandyte areas.
Over the course of several hours, the Group practiced a number of key skills which may be required for the upcoming fire season including Strike Team Convoy Driving, draughting from a collar tank, running grassfire simulation, class A foam production and use, and entrapment procedures.
The draft scenario involved a running grassfire that had started in the Warrandyte area, and under a SW wind was threatening the Eltham, Research and North Warrandyte areas. The scenario was run using the Yarra Glen FOV that was stationed at Kangaroo Ground ICC.
The simulated grass fire attack involved having crews work together to push a basketball through tall grass. Firefighters on both vehicles needed to work together on each truck and with a partner truck to successfully navigate a course in open grassland. Teams who were able to accurately direct water steams and cooperate with other were able to quickly finish the course. The innovative training idea ensured both accuracy and cooperation, two skills well developed by the teams.
In an area where reticulated water is the standard, local Groups seldom have the opportunity to draught from collar tanks. Wonga Park Big Fill was in attendance to assist with the setup and practical use of the tank that holds around 15,000 Litres. Strike Teams were taken through the practicalities of using the collar tanks, along with gaining an understanding of the general operations of water fill points.
At Research Primary School, strike teams were also given a demonstration of Class A foam production, use and application using a variety of branches. The session concluded with an emergency entrapment procedure, protecting an entire strike team with trucks and ensuring vehicles that had no direct crew protection had adequate coverage.
Crews returned to Kangaroo Ground for lunchtime and were provided with lunch by a Salvation Army team who also used the event as a training exercise for their response.
The Nillumbik Group Training Manager, Chas Pagon, was pleased with the smooth running of the exercise and commended all brigades on their attendance and professionalism during the day. Thank you especially goes out to all who helped with the Staging Area Management, Sector Commander and Strike Team Leader roles, Maroondah Group and to the Salvation Army for providing lunch.
Brigades and appliances involved included:
ST1404 (Nillumbik FOV, Eltham T1, Research T1, St Andrews T1 Warrandyte Tanker); ST1414 (Hurstbridge FCV, Research T2, Wattle Glen Tanker, Kangaroo Ground T1, Christmas Hills T2); ST1434 (Research FCV, Christmas Hills ULT, St Andrews T2, Panton Hill Tanker, Hurstbridge Tanker); Yarra Glen FOV, Wonga Park Big Fill, Eltham Pumper.