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Recruit fireys train w Koroit vols
Not long before they graduated in early December, CFA’s latest group of recruit firefighters trained with the volunteers of Koroit brigade.
One of the recruits' trainers was a former member of Koroit and he pushed for our brigade to get this opportunity.
Story by Chris Alsop
We took the Koroit pumper down to Fiskville with five Koroit members and two from Port Fairy - that's a 450 kilometre return trip. The evening started with a quick induction, then we changed into our gear and hit the PAD. We were introduced to the recruits then split up onto different appliances. I was one of the lucky vols who got to work on the Scania pumpers which we have never had the chance to do before.
From 5pm until 10:30pm, the drills came one after another. The recruits had been working since 10am so by the time we got there fatigue was starting to hit. It did not once affect their outstanding performance. The drills included a false alarm, a running grassfire, a two-storey smoke filled house fire and a gas bullet fire.
My first call out for the night was a single-storey dwelling with a fully-involved fire in one room. Working with two recruits, I donned BA, entered the extremely hot house, did a quick search for the source and made a direct attack. A recruit and I then completed an initial search of the dwelling and found two dummies.
While all this was happening on the inside, the other two recruits were working on ventilation of the house. This was achieved by them cutting a hole in the room and placing a fan at the rear of the dwelling. This allowed for a more thorough secondary search.
Sitting in the appliance with the recruits allowed for question time on how the training was going. The common answer I got was that the learning curve went straight up. The amount of learning in 16 weeks was incredible but they all loved every part of it.
It was interesting asking about their backgrounds. In my appliance I had a farmer, a trades person, and a school teacher and the age range was from 25 up to 42.
One conversation that sticks with me was that one of the recruits could not speak highly enough about the volunteers. He sees how important vols are at an incident and feels great appreciation. The general feel was that they all got the brigades they applied for and were excited about the new start.
The three Koroit members working on the Koroit pumper had the two recruits who were moving to Warrnambool. They were looking forward to moving down and one day doing a job with our brigade and vice versa.
This experience was fantastic. The chance to train with recruits is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. To see what they go through to become qualified is incredible. My hat goes off to them.
Every time we work with the paid fireys, they have a calming effect on you. They will always teach you something new and give encouragement where needed.
Massive kudos must go out to the instructors as well with the fantastic job they do.
Fingers crossed we will have this opportunity again. If anyone else gets the opportunity to train with the next lot of recruits, I’d encourage them to jump on board for a great day or night of training.