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Wodonga Group training exercise
Wodonga Group held its annual wildfire group training exercise on Sunday 2 November at the Wodonga Saleyards. Approximately 70 volunteer firefighters in 15 teams participated on the day.
The brigades represented included:
- Baranduda, Wodonga, Leneva and Wodonga West representing Wodonga Group
- Chiltern representing Rutherglen Group
- Kiewa and Yackandandah representing Bogong Group
- Jindera, Splitters Creek, Lavington and Table Top representing our north-of-the-border RFS colleagues
It wouldn’t be a CFA event without a briefing or two, so after we heard from Wodonga Group Officer Terry Darmody, District 24 Operations Manager Paul King and the Incident Controller for the day, teams were rotated through a series of wildfire-based tasks, including:
- Get wet – burn-over drill
- Get water – pumping/draughting
- Make water – progressive hose laying
- Tanker soccer – running grass fire
- Where’s Wally – map reading
While the main aim of the day was to practice what we do, and to refresh and enhance the skills of our firefighters, each event was timed and scored to encourage a little friendly rivalry in competing for the Des Darmody Trophy. Congratulations to Yackandandah who won the day.
A highlight of the day was the first ever participation of a junior team with five young Barandudians aged between 11 and 15 joining the seniors for the day. Any doubts about whether or not the juniors should be involved were quickly dispelled, with many of the senior members commenting on how well they worked together in completing each task. A result that placed them around the middle of the field (ahead of about half the senior teams) and a comment from one of our DGOs that the juniors had the “best spray pattern of the day” in the burn-over drill capped off a great day! Congratulations to the juniors and to their senior mentors for a fantastic effort.
The Saleyards was set up as a staging area using the Beechworth portable staging hut – this was run enthusiastically by CFA and SES volunteers from the arrival of the first tanker until the last tanker left.
Communications were well managed from the D24 FOV by the D24 Headquarters Brigade.
The day finished with a BBQ lunch provided by Redback BBQs. Thanks go to Mark Slater for taking and sharing the photographs from the day.
Thanks and congratulations to all involved in planning, running and participating in a very successful day.
Let’s all look forward to a safe summer fire season.