Story by Bill Corcoran, Naracoorte CFS Group
The day kicked off with a breakfast that was cooked by the football club before crews were broken up into their strike teams for the day.
Crews were sent to four exercises that were placed around the Kybybolite area and this in itself proved to be a challenge for some due to maps books not corresponding to grid references due to CFA and CFS using different books, but in the end crews got to their locations.
There was a pumping excerise at the Mullengere Lake where crews were required to draught water from the lake and then pump water into a hose lay that had been placed out into the area. Crews that had quick fill pumps also had to remove these from appliances and make sure that they worked. Some equipment issues were found and it just goes to show that crews on both side of the border need to check gear. This exercise was run by David and Dean Ludwig along with Andrew Sheppard who all worked well and I am sure crews picked up some new skills.
A house filled with smoke was what greeted members at the next exercise, here crews were given instructions as to what they could do until a CABA brigade arrives. In the Naracoorte group only two brigades have CABA and in the Apsley CFA group there are NO CABA brigades and the nearest CFA CABA brigades is Edenhope or CFS.
Crews also had the chance to wear a CABA set and entre the house and get the feel of what it’s like in a house with smoke. Great feedback was heard from crews on this and we can only hope that some will become CABA operators on both sides of the border. Allan Marshall, Nick Hillier and Damion Tiller were the main instructors on this one for the day and did a great job.
Crews then drove to their next exercise, which involved some off road driving up sandy tracks to get to the forest hose lay. Wattle Range DGO Fred Stent gave a talk and showed crews how to do a Forest hose lay using lay flat hose. Some crews had never seen, let alone used, this type of hose lay and so it was great to see team work and new skills being taught. Just when crews thought it was all over, they had to do their burn over drill and those proved to be a great success and also a great talking point as CFA have only just started retrofitting their tankers with HALO systems for crew protection.
Once again crews drove from this location via the sandy tracks back to the staging area where they were to complete the last excursive which involved helping RURAL AMBULANCE (Vic) with casualty removal. This involved Naracoorte LT Shane Smith giving crews a talk on how to remove the casualty using spine boards but also showed just have fast you run out of hands so as to do the removal. This exercise proved to be the best one for the day with all crews talking about it well after they had done it. As part of this excursive Victorian Police gave a talk to crews about scene prevention.
Crews then returned to staging area where the winner was announced and Naracoorte brigade were the overall winners for 2012. Lots of time and effort went into the day and it was great to see ACO Rob Sandford and R/C Probert there along with CFA staff Ian Day.
For many years the Apsley CFA and the Naracoorte CFS group have always had a great social and working relationship we all share two things in common, low Volunteer numbers but we are always happy and willing to help our community’s in their time of need.
Thanks has to go to the Kybobolite Football Club for the use of their grounds and facilities, to the ladies of the Apsley and Naracoorte Groups for a well catered lunch and to all who took part and came from so far, we thank you all.