Coast Guard members boost their skills

Member News image Image: Coast Guard Westernport


Five members of the Coast Guard Westernport Brigade have spent the past six weeks developing their skills by undertaking the General Firefighter course.


In an initiative started by the Westernport Group, the five Coast Guard volunteers took on CFA’s foundational firefighting training.

Group Officer Westernport Group David Breadmore said the program was a great way to further strengthen the relationships between brigades.

“The idea came about after consultation with the Hastings Coast Guard Brigade. They play a vital role for our land-based brigades in the area and we wanted to further develop the relationships our land-based members have with the Coast Guard members,” David said.

“We have a couple of islands in our response area so they assist us with that, and they also help out with land response in certain situations. Undertaking the General Firefighter course means they can not only better understand how we respond to incidents but help us out better as well.

“Those who live in the local community now also have the opportunity to respond with our brigade, so it’s a boost to our member numbers as well.”

Westernport Coast Guard Brigade Captain Jeremy West, who was one of the members who took part in the training, said it was a great opportunity to develop his skills.

“I’ve supported a number of campaign fires in various roles over the years through the Coast Guard arrangement – including Bunyip and Mallacoota, plus a number of storm events. Undertaking the General Firefighter course seemed like a good opportunity to build skills and further support our local land-based brigade in a firefighter capacity,” Jeremy said.

A volunteer for 10 years, Jeremy said he learned a lot from the course.

“Land-based response is a very different situation to being on a boat, especially when you’ve done a similar type of response for the past 10 years.

“The best thing I learned during the course of the training was the variety of ways to combat similar incidents. There are intricacies to each incident that means even if two fires are similar, the approach might be completely different.”

Jeremy said he now feels much more equipped to assist the land-based brigades to respond.

“Being able to respond more broadly is great, and we love being able to provide more support and feel even more useful.”


  • Member News imageImage: Coast Guard Westernport
  • Member News image Image: Coast Guard Westernport
Submitted by CFA Media