CFA opens state-of-the-art training facility

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CFA has unveiled the latest state-of-the-art training facility, with the Central Highlands Victorian Emergency Management Training Centre (VEMTC) opening near Ballan today, 23 November.


The $31 million dollar facility will allow CFA volunteers and other emergency service personnel to prepare for real-world emergencies in a safe environment.

Set on an almost 40-hectare site, the training facility includes ‘live fire’ simulations, firefighting props, an off-road driver training track and specialist training and breathing apparatus facilities.

View a slideshow of photos from the launch

CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said it was a significant milestone for the fire service.

“CFA’s volunteer firefighters train hard to be skilled and ready to respond to many different types of emergencies. We are committed to providing our members with the best infrastructure, equipment, training and support, and this latest training facility delivers that in spades.”

Three Practice Areas for Drills (PADs) mean volunteers and emergency service personnel can train in complex environments, and include a Structure Pad, Gas Pad, and Extinguisher Pad.

“There’s a petrol station, a tanker with running fuel fire, a gantry, gas tankers, and other small and moveable props to test our firefighters’ skills in dealing with a range of hazards.

“These live-fire exercises use gas flames and theatrical smoke, which give trainers the ability to adjust the flames and smoke and increase the simulated fire threat to test even our most experienced firefighters,” Chief Officer Heffernan said.

An off-road driver training area includes a variety of challenging terrains such as cross slopes, inclines, water and sand crossings, and rocky trail driving.

The campus includes an administration block with four theory classrooms, which can be opened and expanded into two rooms for larger groups, with audio/visual facilities

Environmental impacts and emission control have been considered in the design and build of the site, with the onsite water management system allowing all training water to be captured, treated, and reused on-site. Regular testing will also be undertaken.

In addition to providing a state-of-the-art training campus in its water management, health and safety, and firefighting training capabilities, the Central Highlands VEMTC will also have an appliance storage, and an area for breathing apparatus and protective equipment maintenance.

“VEMTC Central Highlands will be a centre of excellence for CFA’s training and it showcases our commitment to providing the very best facilities for our tens of thousands of volunteers,” CEO Natalie MacDonald said.

“We want this to be the standard for the future and we hope that generations of emergency services personnel will come here to hone their skills in a world class training environment.”

A video and an interactive tour of the site are available on the CFA website.

The roads within the facility, along with the off-road driver training area, have been named in honour of CFA members.

“It was an honour to meet with most of these members and their family representatives and in a small way acknowledge with a certificate and replica road sign the significant contribution they’ve made to our organisation,” Chief Officer Heffernan said.

“From some of CFA’s ground-breaking women – such as the first female Captain, first female Group Officer and first female recipient of an Australian Fire Services Medal – to some of our longest-serving driving instructors, trainers and assessors, it is fitting that their names live on long into our very bright future.”

To read more about the people behind the street names, click on the links below:




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Submitted by CFA Media