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NSW preps 50 more firefighters for busy fire season

More than 50 Forestry Corporation of NSW firefighters honed their skills in a five-day training camp at Johns River in preparation for a busy fire season ahead. Staff from the Mid North Coast, Hunter, Northern Tablelands, North Coast and Pilliga areas were trained in essential firefighting skills such as fire command, control and communications, appliance familiarisation and use. Source: Timberbiz

The three streams of general firefighter, advance firefighter and crew leader roles were the focus for the week-long event.

Forestry Corporation’s Fire Training and Operations Officer Adrien Thompson said the training camp was a crucial component of fire season preparation.

“Forestry Corporation is responsible for preventing and managing fires in two million hectares of State forests across NSW,” Mr Thompson said.

“We take our firefighting responsibilities incredibly seriously – our training ensures everyone from our most experienced firefighter through to our newest recruit is fit and ready to be deployed to the fire front.

“We also send crews to assist on large bushfires across all tenures within their local areas, interstate and even internationally, so we need to ensure we are at the top of our game.

“The hot and dry conditions mean we’ve already had crews managing bushfires in partnership with other NSW firefighting agencies, so this training camp is a timely skills refresher.” The Johns River training camp is one of a series of firefighter training camps being held around the state ahead of the fire season.

“Every year we bring our seasonal recruits and permanent staff together for pre-season training camps to train, upskill, refresh and improve their practical skills and fitness ahead of the fire season,” Mr Thompson said.

“We hold fitness tests and pre-season fire days in each region to put all our firefighting staff through their paces in realistic emergency scenarios and critical information sessions.

“Forestry Corporation’s investment in training our firefighting staff, enhancing fire control rooms and equipment, upgrading fire trails and staffing fire towers has proven very effective in protecting local forests and communities from damaging fire.”

Forestry Corporation spends the cooler months preparing roads and fire trails, completing hazard reduction burns, upgrading equipment and ensuring staff are ready to respond quickly if a fire breaks out.