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Suppressing Fire with Partnerships
Caravan Park Fire Suppression Skills Maintenance at the Ocean Grove Fire Station.
For the fifth consecutive year, the Ocean Grove Fire Brigade in conjunction with CFA District 7 Fire & Emergency Management staff, held a caravan park operators' morning of information, fire theory and hands-on experience for 35 caravan park operators.
Information included new fire legislation, Regulations and the responsibilities of Caravan Park Owners (including staff), Emergency Management Plans and evacuation procedures.
The fire theory included the basics of fire chemistry and the various extinguishment methods. This understanding is vital to ensure the safe and successful extinguishment of a fire – the illustration below shows what can happen if the incorrect extinguisher is used. (A saucepan of burning oil)
Unfortunately the planned burning of a caravan was cancelled because of the early introduction of Fire Restrictions in the area. There was however a video of the burning of 2 caravans last year in a exercise to illustrate the rapid ignition and spread of fire, the toxicity of the vapours and the effects of radiant heat.
The Bellarine Division of VicParks has a very high concentration of Caravan Parks. Indeed, Ocean Grove has 9 Parks and approx.2,500 sites which potentially accommodate some 10,000 additional people during the peak Fire Danger period.
Participants also had the opportunity to inspect the appliances that will be used in the event of a fire. The challenge of maintaining access for these large vehicles was self evident.
Issues such as electrical safety, LPG and Natural Gas, motor vehicles and their fuel loading, personal protection and directing /assisting emergency services with local knowledge of services etc., were also covered.
“Parkies” were from local Parks as well as Parks from the Mornington Peninsula, Surf Coast and Central Victoria. All were “fed and watered” and the Division expressed their appreciation to the Volunteers of the Ocean Grove Brigade, CFA and Secretary David Wynn for the most successful and informative session.