Scheduled for demolition in late June 2012, the building will ultimately make way for a new skate park. Before it is demolished, the brigade has the opportunity to practice simulated structure based emergency scenarios.
Over a three week period, brigade members will train in scenarios ranging from kitchen fires to fully involved structure fires, from suspicious explosions to forced entry and rescue.
One Sunday, the Brigade filled the dis-used building with smoke and presented members with a number of situations, requiring rescue, venting and extinguishment.
Smoke could be seen billowing up High Street, although thanks to good communication from the Council to local residents and from the brigade to VicFire, there was no need for alarm.
At nights, there has been been drills in first attack - with and without BA - and practice at operating in the dark (when most house fires tend to occur).
The Council has been generous in allowing the Brigade to light real fires inside the building, to simulate forced entry on internal doors etc - whilst maintaining a safe exterior to the public.
As the CFA moves into house fire season - and the Broadford Brigade has been to two in recent weeks - the chance to learn from training experiences in structure fires, and smoky rescues will be invaluable for Broadford volunteers.
Although the Broadford Brigade trains every week, members can suffer from ‘training syndrome’ so an opportunity to train under pressure with real smoke and fire is much more realistic and useful.
The Brigade is grateful the Council has embraced this community partnership opportunity.