CFA D24 Acting Assistant Chief Fire Officer Brett Myers (right) with FFMVic's Aaron Kennedy (left)
CFA members have taken part in a significant multi-agency training exercise at the new Tallangatta Incident Control Centre (ICC) to help prepare incident management teams ahead of the coming fire season.
The exercise was led by the Department of Environment, Land, Water, and Planning (DELWP) and involved CFA members and other emergency service agencies along with local authorities.
CFA District 24 Acting Assistant Chief Fire Officer Brett Myers performed the role of Deputy Incident Controller, and said the scenario simulated a significant fire in North East Victoria and was played out in real-time.
“The exercise was based on a fire that started on a very bad fire day to the west of Dartmouth,” he said.
“It involved a fire spreading quite rapidly in the forest area and was impacted by a westerly wind change.”
Around 40 people from a variety of agencies participated in the exercise, and A/ACFO Myers said it was important for key personnel to test their skills before the summer fire season.
“There’s more to managing a fire than just putting the wet stuff on the hot stuff; for instance, Regional Roads Victoria need to ensure roads can reopen safely after the fire has passed, the local council needs to make sure relief and recovery centres are open, and police need to look after road closures and evacuations.
“This exercise involved many agencies including CFA, Fire Rescue Victoria, Parks Victoria, Victoria Police, local Towong Shire Council, Bushfire Recovery Victoria, so it really shows the huge amount of organisation it takes to come together and make sure the community is as best protected as they can be.
“It was also a great opportunity to test the new Incident Control Centre facility at Tallangatta which has never been used before, and a great opportunity to practice our craft in running an incident management team.”