by John Robertson
Wednesday evening training is getting more realistic and more fun. On 10th May we had an exercise, game, competition – call it what you will. It was the brain-child of Paul Gardner who devised and set it up. At a total of ten sites on the Mountain he put a red witch’s hat to represent a spot fire. The idea was that a firebug was on the loose and was setting fires in various Mountain locations – unpleasantly possible! The Brigade’s task was to extinguish each quick smart before it had a chance to spread.
The exercise was monitored by Paul and Ken. Ken’s daughter Emma was a team member – good going for a first outing. John F and Shane did the vital job of manning the Base radio. John, TM1, lead from the front by taking the part of a firefighter and driver. Olle was team-leader in TM41 and Rory in TM51.
Each team was given a location at which to start but thereafter it was up to each to select their next location. The drill was; get to the right spot, radio code 2 to Base (“Exercise Control”), hose down the ‘fire’ for one minute, collect the witch’s hat, radio code 4, select the next location and radio that to Exercise Control. The selected location obviously had to be one that had not already been attacked by either team and not one which the other team had nominated over the radio as their next target.
A team’s task was complete when five ‘fires’ had been extinguished, five witch’s hats collected, the truck re-watered at Kidd Street and returned to Base. As a surprise addition, Exercise Control directed each team to a problem at Geissmann Oval after their fifth fire. Thus each team had to deal with 6 ‘fires’ across the Mountain and re-fill with water.
The exercise put a premium on good radio work – listening carefully as well as speaking clearly – and accurate navigation. Rory’s team was the winner in well under an hour. Maree’s excellent navigation was a key factor. Paul kindly provided nice lollies for all concerned afterwards.
Thank you, Paul for a good and valuable evening which everyone enjoyed.