Vision Valley Hosts The Fire Brigade, and So Much More

Whilst there has been a break between publications, Arcadia has been very busy.

Earlier this year Arcadia hosted a very large training exercise at Vision Valley conference centre run by the Wesley Mission, right here in Arcadia. The training exercise saw 6 brigades attend from Arcadia, Galston, Dural, Middle Dural, Cherrybrook and our friends at Castle Hill Fire Rescue in A Platoon. The exercise was designed to train everyone on very large structure fires and provide an opportunity for the different agencies to become more familiar with each other’s capabilities, and should something happen, be very prepared to attend the incident and facilitate a good outcome.

During the training, the main building was filled with pretend smoke and the crews with breathing apparatus where required to search 3 levels to find 4 dummies that were placed in hard to find locations, to simulate difficult rescues and then to provide first aid prior to ambulance attending. This was also a great opportunity for the leaders of the brigades to use their management experience, tackling such a challenging large scale mock incident.

After the exercise all brigades were treated to a demonstration of the TAF20 by Fire Rescue, which is a remotely controlled firefighting appliance which is used for large structures where it is too dangerous to enter or requires large amounts of firefighting foam and water to put out the fire.

This was also a great opportunity for all the brigades to come together and ask questions of each other and, while we have a great relationship with Caste Hill Fire Rescue, it gave us the chance to meet everyone in a more relaxed atmosphere rather than an incident.

The year has been ramping up for us with various training exercises to keep us prepared. We’ve had many members continue to learn new skills by participating various courses including Basic Fire Fighter, First Aid, Advanced Resuscitation Techniques, Crew leaders and Village Firefighter. They’ve learnt about a number strategies and scenarios of village type incidents. The course practicals teach our members, in a controlled and safe environment, how to approach motor vehicle accidents and fires, gas fires, and door entry. This group was fortunate to have the opportunity to also have a look at FRNSW St Mary’s Hazardous Materials truck, as part of their lesson on hazardous and dangerous materials. A night at Berowra Waters brigade introduced our members to searching for persons in smoke filled rooms, if they wished to further pursue a qualification in Breathing Apparatus.

Arcadia has been kept busy with Hazard Reductions in Berowra, St Ives, and assisting National Parks and Wildlife Services in our own backyard of Marramarra National Park. HR preparation continues within the area for future controlled burns. Arcadia 1 Alpha and crew were deployed to Holsworthy as part of a strike team in April. All firefighters on the ground and behind the scenes worked tirelessly to control the fire. An astounding 0 homes were lost due to this effort. As we enter winter, it is important that home owners take advantage of this cooler weather to prepare their properties for the next fire season. General property and garden maintenance, checking static water supplies and pumps, and general repairs around the house can help reduce the risk of ember attack. Community education and self preparation were key messages presented at this years Australian Community Engagement and Fire Awareness Conference held in Coffs Harbour.

Finally, each year the brigade elects in the position holders for the following year. This is an important part of the organisation which ensures that we continue to evolve and give the members of the brigade an opportunity to provide input and gain valuable experience in various roles. On the 14th of April we had our AGM. Congratulations to all the position holders, and we look forward to a prosperous year ahead.

At Arcadia we are fortunate to have a team with a strong sense of community. We are a lucky brigade, and should you wish to be part of it, please feel free to call us on 0438 648 993.

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