Throughout June and July the brigade has been busy with training. In June, Arcadia participated in the Hornsby/Ku-Ring-Gai district’s annual District Exercise. The exercise is comprised of a number of different scenarios that encompass the incidents and skills the RFS attend and use. This year there were scenarios for gas cylinders, lightning strikes, and an MVA scenario including hazardous material. These scenarios are designed to not only test and challenge crews, but to also provide an opportunity to learn. There is also a navigation aspect to the District Exercise, where crews are required to navigate through the bush to find points of interest. The feedback was unanimous, that the crew had a great day!
The community may have seen a number of fire trucks at Galston High school one weekend in July, but don’t be alarmed! For a number of months Arcadia has been working on a training exercise, which saw neighbouring brigades from the Hornsby district, and The Hills, come together alongside Fire and Rescue to train at Galston High School. The aim of the exercise was to allow brigades to train within the grounds, challenge their skills, further familiarise themselves with the asset, and take the opportunity to train together. It allowed many personnel to train in a variety of roles, from operational firefighting duties to communication operations.
Our fire trucks get us to all sorts of places in many types of terrain, and they’re quite big. If we get a call to your property, will we be able to enter and fit down your driveway? A number of driveways are quite narrow, have over grown trees, or even decorative driveway entrances. We get called to a variety of incidents, from bush and structure fires, to assisting an ambulance. Our big trucks, a Cat 1 tanker, are 2.4 metres wide and 7.5 metres long. We can fit through gateways that allow 4 metres height clearance and 3.5 metres width is preferred. These trucks also have a large turning circle, which makes small, tight corners very difficult. A few more points when thinking about how accessible your property is in case of an emergency include the visibility and location of the street number, do you have a stored water source and is it easily accessible, and is there a visible hydrant outside your property, that has not been overgrown by weeds, the nature strip, or just hidden from dirt and debris. If you do have a hydrant that could use some TLC, ensure you practise safety around it as other creatures like to make their homes in it. You can assist us by removing vegetation from the hydrant so we can locate it quickly.
Arcadia is always looking for new, enthusiastic members to join us. We will be holding an open day at our Get Ready Weekend, which will at our station 127x Arcadia rd, Arcadia on the 14th of September. We encourage all residents of the utopia community to come visit! We’d love to hear what preparations to your property you have done. With the dry conditions and water restrictions, it is vital that we all have our summer preparations underway. Preparing your property does not need to be a strenuous task, start small. Mowing lawns, trimming vegetation, clean gutters, and removing rubbish to create a safe APZ is a great way to start. The more you prepare your home, the safer it will be.
For more great tips on how to prepare your home for the fire season, visit the NSW RFS website https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/plan-and-prepare/prepare-your-property
More information on hydrants can be found on the Fire and Rescue NSW website https://www.fire.nsw.gov. au/page.php?id=9257