News & Media

Snow tests crews at Buller

  • Carol Renwick (Mt Buller CFA), Ian Hunt, (Group Manager Hume Region Ambulance Victoria), Ben Annear (Mt.Buller CFA)
  • Mt Buller exercise August 2013
  • Mt Buller exercise August 2013
  • Mt Buller exercise August 2013
  • Mt Buller exercise August 2013
  • Mt Buller exercise August 2013
  • Mt Buller exercise August 2013
  • Mt Buller exercise August 2013
  • Mt Buller exercise August 2013
  • Mt Buller exercise August 2013
  • Mt Buller exercise August 2013
  • Mt Buller exercise August 2013
  • Mt Buller exercise August 2013
  • Mt Buller exercise August 2013
  • Mt Buller exercise August 2013
  • Mt Buller exercise August 2013
  • Mt Buller exercise August 2013
  • Mt Buller exercise August 2013
  • Mt Buller exercise August 2013

By: Sonia Maclean

Category: Training & Recruitment

  1.54 PM 30 August, 2013


Location: District 23 News, General

Views: 4944

Mt Buller, Merrijig and Mansfield brigades participated in one of the first ever inter-agency training exercises in snow conditions, tackling a scenario based on the rescue of an injured worker and his family across the top storeys of a building.

Eight weeks in the planning and involving 40 personnel, the exercise was a collaboration between CFA, Ambulance Victoria, Victoria Police and the Alpine Resorts.

The evening also provided a unique opportunity for the CFA Health Assessment Team, in conjunction with Deakin University, to conduct research into the physiological effects of heat stress on firefighters at altitude.  

Paul Horton, a District 23 Operations Officer who has been stationed at Mt Buller throughout the snow season, praised the efforts of brigade members, including those volunteers from Mansfield and Merrijig brigades whose crews made the arduous journey up the mountain in order to participate.

“The volunteers at Mt Buller Brigade have continually stepped up, seeking opportunities for development and skill acquisition, and should be congratulated for their efforts,” he said.

“The snow and alpine conditions create a very different working environment up here. As operations officers, it’s important for us to understand what it means to be a firefighter on the mountain. Different rules apply when it comes to equipment and PPC.

“My personal objective was to view the troops in action and think about anything we can do to make their lives easier.”

This style of exercise had never been conducted when the snow was in, so it was critical that the various parties involved come together.

Paul acknowledged the hard work of several individuals and organisations, in particular the terrific support from the management of Buller Central.

“They gave as access to the top two disused stories of a four-storey building, and that was absolutely key to the success of the exercise. Even the fact that there was stuff lying around like timber and insulation provided a real challenge for personnel.”

Further acknowledgements went out to:

  • Boorolite brigade which stepped up within ESTA to support both the Merrijig brigade and the community in their brigade area had there been a second call when they were up here.
  • The participation and contribution of Ambulance Victoria who “showed off” their new Community Ambulance Officers for the first time.
  • RMB Manager Resort Operations Andrew Markwick who not only contributed to the exercise but has also begun planning to further support agencies into the future.
  • Foodworks Supermarket which provided a very good deal on food supplies for the evening meal.

CFA members can read more about the results and links between this exercise and the Heat Health Study in the next edition of Brigade Magazine.

Read more about the Health Study here.

Last Updated: 02 September 2013