BEING prepared is the catchphrase for all who work and volunteer in the emergency services and to action that phrase rural fire crews from across the Maroochy South region including our Bli Bli members participated in joint training exercises on the weekend – to hone their skills and get to know neighbouring crews who they may one day team up to battle a blaze with.
Around 75 volunteers from across the region participated in various tasks that simulated the challenges faced during a real fire but with less urgency.
Group Officer of Maroochy South and Bli Bli RFS Nigel Kemp said that the training day involved bringing together the 11 brigades within the Maroochy South group.
“It’s a day of working with each other, a team building exercise, learning what your neighbouring brigade can do, who the people are in those brigades, what the trucks are capable of doing, and we had a good day and a bit of fun doing it.”
The tasks were ones that would be performed on the fire ground but were completed with less pressure, were less intense and in a friendlier environment.
“It gives you time to think about what you’re doing rather than when you’re on the fire ground when the pressure is on.”
The exercises included reversing a fire truck blindfolded while being guided only by a colleague’s radioed directions, pumping water from a dam to refill the fire truck, towing a bogged truck, using hoes to dig a small fire break, four-wheel driving along rugged bush tracks and team-building activities.
The exercises were hosted by Kureelpa Rural Fire Brigade and crews that attended were from Bli Bli, Eudlo, Kiel Mountain, Kureelpa, Mapleton, Montville, Obi Obi, and Palmwoods.
Mr Kemp has noted that high rainfall over recent years will potentially lead to high fuel loads within Sunshine Coast bushland areas, so crews need to be extra vigilant for upcoming fire seasons.
“Thanks to events like this, when we see a neighbouring truck pull up beside us at a major fire event, we know who they are, what they can do, we know what their truck can do.
“We all get to work together and learn each other’s talents and capabilities, so we know that when the fire season ramps up, we’re right to go.”