DSE and Parks Victoria fire fighters are gearing up for the fire season.CATHY WALKER December 18, 2012 4:04am
Against the backdrop of thousands of dead trees protruding from the water, the bright red fire tankers and a sea of people in lurid green overalls were a colourful addition to the shores of Winton Wetlands last week.
Happily there was no fire adding to the colour. The scene was a training day for DSE and Parks Victoria seasonal and permanent firefighters as well as their office staff, many of whom also fight fires.
DSE Benalla field services officer Ben Cook said while nothing entirely prepared firefighters for their first real fire, their training was extensive and days such as Winton gave the project firefighters the opportunity to meet their permanent colleagues and pick up some tips from them.
‘‘You learn from the people around you; fortunately we’ve got a lot of experienced guys and girls and you can learn a lot from them,’’ Mr Cook said.
As groups of men and women in green rotated from one exercise to the next, Mr Cook stayed with Benalla tanker 215, the vehicle for each group to practice putting out a tree fire and then deal with an entrapment or burnover.
‘‘Don’t forget to say when you make your mayday call ‘for training purposes only’,’’ he reminded each group, which elicited a few smiles.
Mr Cook said what he liked about the job was that every day was different.
‘‘You never know what to expect.’’
Mr Cook’s biggest experience in his five-year career was four weeks spent working on the Narbethong fires from the day after Black Saturday.
Spending a week or more sleeping on a footy oval, he said, really drove home the need to know your team-mates and get on with them.
Supervising the whole exercise at Winton was Goulburn Fire District operations manager Scott Edwards, who said the training day was all about teamwork as well as keeping up-to-date.
‘‘There is constant innovation within the firefighting field, and it is important that we share new developments — especially those designed to improve safety,’’ Mr Edwards said.
The SAM Foundation has received a further philanthropic contribution of $1 million towards the new Shepparton Art Museum.
The Yarrawonga Pigeons scored a 20 point victory over the Myrtleford Saints at the JC Lowe Oval in Yarrawonga on Saturday.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
Moama’s Lachie Schultz made his state league footy debut on Sunday for Williamstown’s Seagulls.
FOUR Rochester residents did more than their bit for women’s cancers mid last month when they trekked 60km around Melbourne to raise funds for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Tongala Football Club lost to Rumbalara in the Murray Netball League on Saturday by 14 points.
Four generations of Comi girls this Mother's Day
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
DESPITE criticism from within the community over a perceived lack of use, the O’Keefe Rail Trail has enjoyed good traffic over the past couple of weeks, with more to come.
Two recent council-approved planning applications for new depots as part of a new logistics and transport hub in Strathmerton will begin construction soon, with representatives from both companies inspecting the site.
Jake has babies to thank for surviving cancer.
Fonterra suppliers are reeling after the announcement of a big cut in the milk price from $5.60/kg to $5 for the full current year.
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