Scouts from the Ballarat area recently toured one of CFA’s state-of-the-art training centres, while getting a firsthand look behind the scenes of what it takes to be a volunteer firefighter.
Victorian Emergency Management Training Campus (VEMTC) Central Highlands, located on the outskirts of Ballan, hosted Mount Clear and Creswick Scout Groups, to teach them about firefighting skills and the different tools and techniques used by CFA firefighters.
The tour began with a video introduction, before the Scouts got a close-up look at firefighting equipment like personal protection gear (PPC), breathing apparatus (BA), and thermal imaging cameras (TIC).
However, the highlight of the visit was the opportunity to see firefighters from CFA’s Lara Fire Brigade in action, as they practised firefighting skills with simulated hot fire.
Practical Area Drills (PAD) Supervisor, Will Hodgson, gave the Scouts and their Group Leaders a personalised tour of the campus and a unique perspective on the training needed to become a firefighter.
Will, who is also Captain of Warrandyte Fire Brigade, hopes this Scout visit will be the first of many to VEMTC sites across the state.
“Young people like these Scout Groups are the next generation of our community,” said Will.
“What better way to showcase how CFA is involved with their community than seeing what goes on behind the scenes.
“Who knows, there may have been some future fireys on the tour.”
At the end of the evening, there were many questions from the Scouts, ranging from materials used for the training PADs, how the PADs work and how many trucks CFA have in their fleet.
Ballarat District Scout Leader Brad Pryor said experiences like this are important for Scouts to help them learn life skills and understand important roles within the community.
“The visit has been a great opportunity for Scouts to partner with another valued community organisation,” Brad said.
"We are so grateful to CFA and especially Will, for welcoming us and providing this incredible learning opportunity for our Scouts.
"This visit will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression, and we hope it will inspire them to consider CFA as they continue their volunteering journey into adulthood."