Training exercise boosts rural firefighting skills


ORANGE and district residents can sleep easier knowing the region's firefighters, volunteers and incident controllers are highly skilled and ready to keep the region safe after participating in an incident management exercise last week.

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Training exercise boosts rural firefighting skills

Canobolas Zone NSW Rural Fire Service operations officer Bob Conran (left) and manager David Hoadley oversee the incident management exercise in front of the new state-of-the-art televisions. Photo: STEVE GOSCH

Canobolas Zone NSW Rural Fire Service manager David Hoadley said the real-life fire scenario ensured those who participated received vital skills that could help save lives and homes, under the watchful eye of experienced assessors.

"It's a mock exercise to give firefighters and incident controllers experience in managing a real-life, large fire, that's based on a Clifton Grove blaze last year that burnt for 24 hours and covered 150 hectares," he said.

"The point of the exercise is to test out all their skills in a high-pressure environment and to ensure we have the right strategies in place to help protect the community, should the need arise."

Mr Hoadley said the exercise forced participants to focus on key areas of firefighting including weather changes, what equipment to use and the successful use of containment lines.

The incident management exercise also offered the perfect opportunity to test out the Canobolas Zone's new state-of-the-art televisions and facilities, which Mr Hoadley believes provides a significant boost in their ability to fight fires.

"The new boards were installed about two weeks ago," he said.

As you can see everyone's getting used to them, but they provide a lot of information and certainly make life a lot easier."