Visit from state-wide training helps fire crews breathe easy

ORANGE Fire and Rescue crews brushed up on their skills when the breathing apparatus training trailer visited the station this week.

The trailer, which travels around NSW to provide training simulations for firefighters in regional towns, is set up like a small apartment with a drug lab in a back room.

All four crews at the  Orange station had training sessions inside the trailer, which was filled with smoke from a fog machine and required personnel to navigate their way through the rooms with their heavy air tanks and fire-resistant tunics on.

The firefighters must put out the fire and rescue the victims, played by human-shaped stuffed material dummies.

Station officer Brad Monico said the simulations combined two important aspects of the job; dealing with hazardous materials and fighting fires.

“You can’t see, there’s zero visibility. You’re basically on your hands and knees, you don’t know what’s around you and you’re dragging a hose. You’re quite weighed down physically,” he said.

“The first crew knocks the fire out and then the second goes in there and gets any victims out.”

Training simulations with breathing apparatus are conducted at least once a year for all firefighters in NSW,

Mr Monico said it was important for the community firefighters’ skills were up to scratch.

“You’ve got to be aware of the situation because it can get really hot when you’re inside a burning building, a couple of hundred degrees. You’ve got to know when to get out of there.”


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