Forestry's new recruits are 'fire ready'

Friday 22 Sep 2023

Forestry Corporation has put its new firefighting recruits through their paces at a Wauchope training camp in preparation for the bushfire season. More than 50 staff from across the North-West, Mid North Coast, Northern Rivers, Sydney, Hunter, Central West, South Coast and southern NSW were trained in essential firefighting skills.

This included training in fire behaviour, tactics and strategy, leadership, command, control and communications and how to operate the range of appliances and equipment used at hazard reduction burns and bushfires.

“The intensive training program is designed to get new recruits nationally qualified and ‘fire ready’ as forest firefighters,” Fire Training and Operations Officer Adrien Thompson said. Forestry Corporation’s bushfire training camps are essential in developing a skilled and capable workforce for the bushfire season.

The training program is comprehensive, and recruits get the opportunity to learn skills like the use of four-wheel-drive-mounted hoses and reels, operation of fire tankers and pumping equipment, while also being taught lifesaving skills such as fire-front first-aid, communication, how to monitor weather patterns and gauge the impact of relative humidity and changing wind gusts on forest fires.

“Safety is always at the top of this list though – our firefighters’ wellbeing is our biggest concern, and it all comes back to correct training and procedures,” Mr Thompson said. “We take our firefighting responsibilities incredibly seriously – our training ensures everyone from our most experienced firefighter through to our newest recruits are 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,” he said. Forestry Corporation is responsible for preventing and managing fires across two million hectares of State forests across NSW.

Source: Forestry Corporation

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