15 staff boost Forestry Corporation firefighting numbers

Forestry Corporation will again be employing seasonal staff to boost firefighting numbers in and around its plantations in the Tumut, Tumbarumba and Batlow areas.

Fifteen casual firefighters will start on Monday 5 December.

Regional manager Bob Germantse said Forestry Corporation has been through the process of looking for fit, capable people who are interested in an outdoor job

‘These people will be part of our on-ground fire-fighting force. We also employ contractors to man four fire towers in the plantation areas’ he said.

‘First off the fieldworkers will receive intensive fire-fighting training including use of fire tankers, fire fighting slip-on units for vehicles, four-wheel-drives, chainsaws and first-aid.

‘They will be trained and ready to respond at short notice to any fires that start in or near the plantations.’

Mr Germantse said that while not fighting fires, the majority of the casual firefighters’ time would be spent maintaining Forestry Corporation fire trails, removing weeds within the forest and assisting with hazard reduction and plantation burning during the autumn.

‘These people gain valuable experience and skills during the summer with us, and later take these skills into the wider community and workforce,’ he said.

Mr Germantse said the additional staff would complement Forestry Corporation permanent work force who are highly skilled and experienced fire fighters.

‘This firefighting and fire spotting workforce combined with the organisation’s specialised fire fighting machinery and lightning detection technology will ensure the south west slopes is well equipped to protect life, property and the State’s valuable softwood resource,’ he said.

Media contact: Sarah Chester on 02 6036 2110 or 0417 207 669.