Traning day helps Forestry Corporation prepare for fire season

In preparation for the coming fire season, Forestry Corporation Hume Region will be conducting a fire-training day tomorrow (Thursday 8 December) from 8.30 am to 4 pm.

Forestry Corporation employees from the Tumut, Tumbarumba and Batlow areas will come together at Laurel Hill to practise for the coming season.

Forestry Corporation regional manager Bob Germantse said about 100 staff would be involved with equipment including several large tankers, and 15 light-striker units mounted on four-wheel-drive vehicles.

‘It is vital that our staff and equipment are ready for the fire season,’ he said.

‘The day will be devoted to refreshing staff on fire fighting equipment, communication, map reading, and safety.’

Mr Germantse said even though this was the best start to a fire season for a long time, Forestry Corporation wanted to be absolutely sure it was ready when the summer dry begins.

‘An efficient and practised response to fires is essential to protect life and property each summer,’ he said.

Sixteen seasonal fieldworkers, who began work with Forestry Corporation this week, will be mixed with the balance of Forestry Corporation experienced firefighting workforce.

‘Some of our foresters will also be practising their firefighting and logistical management skills on the day,’ Mr Germantse said.

‘When there is a fire to put out later in the season, this training helps us to come together as an efficient, well prepared firefighting team.’

On the day, a number of safety and service awards will be presented by Forestry Corporation director Planted Forests Operations Peter Crowe.

Safety Awards will be presented to Peter Rial for five years, Duncan Watt and Roger Davies for 10 years, Gordon Guihot and Mark Chaplin for 15 years, David Piper for 20 years, Wayne Annetts and Peter Hillier for 25 years, Malcolm Baker for 30 years and Stewart Cullen and Laurie Blake for 35 years.

Service Award will be presented to Duncan Watt and Roger Davies for 10 years, Mark Chaplin for 15 years, David Piper for 20 years, Wayne Annetts, Larry Collins and Chris Gorman (a plaque) for 25 years and Paul Wood (a clock) for 40 years.

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