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Penshurst all fired up!
Female firefighters in CFA’s District 5 brushed up on their fire knowledge and skills at a special exercise day at VEMTC Penshurst on Sunday.
With the help of the Women and Fire committee, the day allowed female firefighters the chance to learn and experience a number of different skills.
The day started with group introducing themselves over a cuppa before heading out onto the PAD for a fire blanket and extinguisher session. Operations Officer Paul Marshall briefly explained the different types of extinguishers and their uses. Each person was given an opportunity to put a fire out using the blanket and extinguisher. Every firefighter knows the theory behind the uses of fire extinguishers but few have had the experience of using one.
Firefighter Carolyn Bishop challenged the women to a scavenger hunt which required them to find piece of equipment on the truck. They then had to explain to the group, where it was found, its use and how it is maintained. It is important that firefighters know where to locate different pieces of equipment, as they are stored in similar lockers on every truck. It was great to see the more experienced women assisting those with less experience.
Then it was back into the classroom for a session on fire weather, map-reading and communication skills. Firefighter Bryan Wills developed a number of exercises the women had to complete following his explanations. The participants had to map the spread of a fire after being given details of its position and weather conditions.
Following a delicious lunch supplied by the local Primary School Parents Club, it was into the cars for a navigation exercise. Using the radio protocols learnt in the previous session Adrienne Anson gave each group coordinates to different places around Penshurst. It was pleasing to see no one got lost and everyone returned to the training ground within time.
The final session of the day saw the women don their gear to fight a ‘house fire’. Each participant was given a role, as crew leader, pump operator or being on the end of a hose. The exercise was repeated with the women able to swap roles and experience different aspects of fighting a fire. We are able to announce the house was ‘saved’ and the ‘occupants’ were safe.
The time the volunteer presenters gave was greatly appreciated and all participants really enjoyed the day as well as having learnt something.
District 05 Volunteerism Coordinator