High angle rescue team hones skills

The joint District 8 and 13 high angle rescue team together with Plenty and Eltham brigades participated in a rescue training exercise at the Melbourne Water Winneke water treatment plant. 


Built in 1980 the plant is part of the Sugarloaf reservoir and supplies a significant amount of Melbourne’s water. 

Considered critical infrastructure, CFA has a strong partnership with site management to ensure a swift response to incidents.

The scenario involved a worker who had fallen and sustained injuries requiring a stretcher evacuation from the lowest level of the pumping station. 

The rescue required one rope system to raise the patient five metres to the deck level, and then another system to raise the patient 25 metres to ground level.

Dandenong Fire Station Senior Station Officer Daryl Owen said exercises such as the one at Winneke were a great way to test operational response capabilities.

“This particular scenario is an example of the partnership CFA have with industries such as Melbourne Water,” Daryl said. 

“This facility is considered critical infrastructure and the state cannot afford for it to be off-line for any significant time. 

“This means that any rescue or emergency has to be dealt with swiftly to avoid and impact on their water output.

“Keeping our skills honed and developing new skills by participating in technical rescue exercises like this one is vital for our small but highly skilled technical rescue team.” 

The teams have conducted similar emergency exercises in conjunction with Melbourne water including confined space rescues and fires to ensure the on-site emergency response is coordinated with emergency services.

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Author: Shaunnagh O'Loughlin