Exciting times ahead for the Tamborine Mountain Rural Fire Brigade as preparations for the 2014 fire season move ahead.
People might think that firefighting is a matter of standing there with a hose to put the fire out, but here, high up on the mountain, with no reticulated water supply, we have to be just a bit smarter with what we do. To this end your brigade is acquiring new technology to bolster our firefighting ability with the pending acquisition of a drone, or Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) as they are now known. This piece of equipment will enable us to look down on fires and more accurately map their location, speed and direction and then relay the video in real-time back to the lncident Control where the allocation of the brigade resources is decided.
Not only will the RPAS improve our efficiency but it will also assist in managing the safety aspects of a wildfire, not just for fire-fighters but also the wider community. Given the nature of our mountain community it is fundamental that all of its emergency services are able to work together in an effective and cohesive way. The Brigade visualises a wider use for the aircraft once it is commissioned as it will no doubt become an important tool for the SES in their search and rescue operations where an aerial ability might possibly contribute to the saving of lives. As soon as the aircraft arrives the brigade will commence a program to train its future pilots to safely pilot the craft. So, if during the next few months you hear a buzzing noise above or near your property you will know that it is only the brigade training.
The TMRFB has been fortunate enough to receive a generous grant from the Gambling Grants. One of the main purposes of the grant is to improve the safety of fire-fighters who are out there in sometimes horrendous conditions to protect lives and property. lf a fire-fighter collapses during an operation they may be a long way from receiving the medical support that he or she needs and, through that situation, be at risk. A large part of the grant will be used to put a defibrillator and oxygen equipment on each fire truck, a piece of equipment that is commonplace in the United States but sadly very slow in achieving the same prioritisation of importance in Australia. More of the money will be used to further enhance training for its members, particularly in the area of first aid, which the brigade would otherwise have struggled to provide.
This week has seen two new recruits sign up and soon they will begin their training with the brigade to prepare them for the fire season.
Lastly I would like to thank all those over the past months who have made donations to the brigade. Running your brigade at a high operational readiness level that the mountain needs for its wellbeing is an expensive business. Because of this we welcome donations large and small and are always happy to chat with possible future sponsors. Remember that Tamborine Mountain is a very special community and we are your brigade.