by John Robertson
At the fire at Macdonnell Road in August there was a good dam on site. We are seldom so lucky and usually have to refill elsewhere. John Fisher organises places across the Mountain where kind owners give us permission to use their water for our trucks. Using John’s datasheet Paul set up another good training exercise for us on 25th October. This was for each of the three trucks with their crews to visit four or five designated water sources and check their current usability. This was reported over the radio, site by site, to John F as ‘Exercise Control’.
The sources were well spread across the Mountain. The outcome was that some sites were too difficult of access (keys needed, hostile dogs and so forth) and were taken off the list. A few sites were so close together that the single best site was chosen and the others deleted. One owner questioned why we came in the dark and not by day. Neville pointed out that we had to train in the evening because most members worked by day and also that fires burned by night and so we needed to be able to refill in the dark.
Most sites were good and accessible. Some were remarkably so; for example, the farm opposite the hang-gliding site offers us easy access and over 500,000 litres of clean water from a 50 mm camlock connection. Other sites did not have as much water but were still excellent and strategically located fill-up points. Thanks to John F’s datasheet we have ample and convenient water sources for fire locations across the Mountain. Paul’s exercise emphasised this and also gave good practice in driving, navigation and radio comms on the Mountain.
Russell, as a new MR trainee on 52, proved himself already an excellent truck driver.