Toy trucks and model planes are some of the unorthodox fire training tools Forestry Corporation is using to prepare its local fire commanders for the upcoming fire season.
Forestry Corporation of NSW’s fire training coordinator Cameron Wade said forest fire fighters from Batemans Bay, Eden, Bathurst, Tumut and Deniliquin came together in Batemans Bay late last month to map out fire response strategies using model vehicles.
“When a wildfire ignites, we need to respond as quickly as possible to get it under control, so our fire commanders need to know how to effectively position and use fire fighting trucks, tankers and aircraft to contain the fire front,” Mr Wade said.
“While using toy trucks might look like child’s play, in reality it’s quite the opposite.
“We manage more than two million hectares of forest, so while we run physical scenarios in state forests in the lead-up to fire season, we also need to use model vehicles to develop and test fire management strategies for forests throughout the state.”
Mr Wade said the commander training complemented the rigorous fitness testing and scenario-based exercises fire fighting staff were completing in the lead-up to the fire season.
“As the fire season approaches, we’ll be putting our fire fighters into strike teams and running scenario-based training to test their practical skills with water tankers and radio communication so they are ready to deal with anything from car fires to injured people,” he said.
“We will also work with local RFS volunteers as part of the state's coordinated fire fighting effort.”