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.
Budding Kyabram actor Taylor Smith Morvell is one of 20 Victorian students chosen to perform his Year 12 theatre studies monologue in Melbourne next week.
The Yarrawonga and District Cemetery Trust has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Department of Health to undertake development work at the Yarrawonga cemetery.
Members of Murchison Book Club are hosting a literary lunch with Vivien Achia, author of Marrying Italian — When Love is Not Enough.
A man has been taken to Echuca hospital after being trapped for several minutes in his vehicle.
Steve Glassborow has returned for a twentieth year, bringing a range of his bronze sculptures.
Tongala family hopes for transplant call for six-year-old.
Family of former Seymour man killed in a road crash in Los Angeles before Christmas set up a Melbourne University scholarship in his honour.
Tocumwal's Don Elgin is aiming to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland
Leitchville-Gunbower at home was too strong for Heathcote’s senior footballers in their first Good Friday clash.
Huge crowds turned out for Cobram Barooga's River Beaches Festival, which featured a special splash for 2000 rubber ducks.
South West Arts ArtOut will be held again in 2015 after last weekend's inaugural success.
Murray Goulburn has lifted its milk prices to about $6.66 kg milk solids.
Benalla's Kevin Harper will be honoured in the motorcade lap of honour at Melbourne Cricket Ground tomorrow for his service during the Korean War.
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