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‘We need YOU’: BA project trials in Wangaratta
CFA is calling on volunteers in the north of the state and beyond to take part in trialling breathing apparatus sets to be potentially used across the emergency services sector into the future.
The first of three weekend field trials will be held from 23 to 25 September at the Wangaratta training ground (VEMTC), and around thirty volunteers are being sought.
The field trials are part of a significant multi-agency project being led by CFA on behalf of Victoria Police, Corrections Victoria and Ambulance Victoria, and will provide crucial input into which supplier is awarded the supply contract.
Accommodation and travel costs can be provided for those coming from out of town.
An open tender process was held earlier this year between April and June, with potential suppliers asked to submit BA sets for consideration to replace our existing sets in CFA.
CFA’s Luke Waterson, co-managing the trials with James Wong, said the Respiratory Protection Replacement Project (RPRP) was working to bring the equipment used by Victorian firefighters into the 21st century.
“By participating in the trials you’ll be contributing to the choice of equipment we use for years to come. and contribute to the development of a system that’s compatible across the emergency services sector,” he said.
“But in itself this is an amazing training opportunity. The field trial weekend offers a really good opportunity for skills maintenance.
“We’ll cover BA skillsets including live fire, extended duration, HAZMAT, search and rescue and after-use care and maintenance.”
Luke said the RPRP team was seeking expressions of interest from experienced operational (and fit for duty) volunteer members.
“Participants will be selected and divided into two groups of Evaluators and Fireground Assistants,” he said.
“All participants will be required to attend for the entire weekend, which will consist of an early evening session on Friday followed by full days on the Saturday and Sunday.”
The field trials will be run by a team led by CFA Operations Manager Graham Lay and supported by operational representatives from CFA, MFB and VFBV.
Due to ‘commercial in confidence’ obligations, firefighters who take part will be asked to attend a probity briefing and sign confidentiality documents.
CFA members wanting to express interest in the field trials can contact:
Please provide the following details:
Name, brigade, district, gender, build (e.g. small/medium/large), height, preferred role (evaluator or assistant).
About the Respiratory Protection Replacement Project
RPRP promotes the safety of emergency services personnel and a more effective, interoperable approach to response. It supports the principles established in the 2013 White Paper (Victorian Emergency Management Reform).
Stage 1 of the project is complete
7000 new carbon fibre breathing air cylinders were procured and delivered under Stage One. These 6.8 litre, 300 BAR cylinders include additional safety features such as an excess flow valve and ratchet hand wheel. MFB, whose existing BA sets are already compatible, put these cylinders into operation in October 2015. Other agencies will introduce them upon delivery of compatible BA sets as part of Stage 2.
Stage 2 of the project is underway
This involves the procurement of new Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) sets.
For CFA and other agencies, delivery of these sets will enable the use of cylinders delivered under Stage 1.