Local volunteer firefighters who have used the new state-of-the-art training facility at Ballan look forward to benefitting from having VEMTC Central Highlands close by.
Ballan Fire Brigade Captain Ben Hatfield declared the facility fantastic and enjoyed showing off their skills in front of a live audience at the launch on Tuesday.
“We’ve been out there about six times already to check it out. The props provide really good hot fire training which we haven’t been able to do a lot, so it’s been great to get back to doing that,” Ben said.
The new facility includes ‘live fire’ simulations, firefighting props, an off-road driver training track and specialist training and breathing apparatus facilities.
Although servicing brigades across Victoria, the Ballan facility will prove particularly helpful to brigades in the local area who wish to hone their firefighting skills as well as maintain equipment without lengthy travel times.
“We’ve got a good relationship with the VEMTC facility, so we’re able to get our breathing apparatus cylinders filled there whereas before we had to go to Geelong or Ballarat,” he said.
“We did our structure course two years ago and had to drive to Penhurst or Longerenong to do that, so to have it in our own backyard really cuts that travel down. It makes training readily accessible to Central Victoria.”
Ben said that training was such a key part of ensuring CFA crews were prepared for emergencies
“Training is probably the most important thing we need to do; we need to prepare ourselves to tackle as many emergencies situations as we can, so having the ability to do that training in a safe way in a relatively central location is fantastic,” he said.
As for the launch, Ben said that the highlight was definitely being able to display the abilities of the new props and PADs alongside other local brigades.
“For us, the best part was definitely being out on the PAD and putting the fire out,” he said.
CFA volunteers can request access to the facility through their local training coordinator.
View a slideshow of photos from the launch
||CFA News & Media