Distinctive training initiatives ramp up ahead of summer disaster season

by John Hilton11 Nov 2015
In light of the impending summer disaster season, Queensland’s emergency services are undergoing extra training to ensure they are properly prepared.

It comes as a result of recommendations made by the Queensland Flood Commission of Inquiry to brace for future flood damage, as the state had to deal with an unprecedented number of natural disasters over the last four years.

In particular, the Air Rescue crews have been training the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES) by winching a rescuer down to a ute tray to simulate a vehicle trapped in a flooded causeway.

The training has been taking place at Archerfield airport in the south of Brisbane and the Queensland Air Rescue teams also plan to train QFES crews in Townsville and Cairns.

Greg Duncan, QFES station manager, said he welcomed the training programs which began following the Queensland floods in 2011.

“It’s a serious business. You don’t want to be doing it for the first time never having been in a helicopter before,” he was quoted as saying by ABC Online.

Additionally, the firefighters have been providing water training to air crews. The importance of these two groups collaborating together to perform rescues was highlighted by the Flood Commission of Inquiry.

Senior air crew officer Greg Beer said joining forces has been working tremendously well.

“It’s been fantastic. Not only the training – we’re both sharing ideas on how to do things, they’re the experts on the ground, in the water and we’d like to think our training allows us to provide the expertise from above,” he said.

“Not only can we winch them into these areas, but we can also observe where the dangerous areas are and then, if required, we can winch them in and that’s what the training is about."

QFES technical rescue co-ordinator Douglas May added that the training will enhance the rescue ability on both sides and make it safer for everyone.

L&D Professional recently spoke to Robyn Barco, L&D officer at the NSW SES about the challenges of L&D in the emergency services. The full article can be read here.