Just a quick note to let you know that the training we (DEWNR) did with you in October 2014 paid dividends last week when several of us from Port Augusta were called down to fight fires in the Adelaide Hills.
We were tasked to do a range of fire fighting jobs in the QRVs (Quick Response Vehicles) including medical evacuations, ambulance escorts, SA Powernet crew protection, asset protection (houses etc) and quick responses to 000 calls from the public when spot fires and flare ups occurred.
Speaking for myself I’ve always been very anxious of operating in the close confines of the Adelaide hills within a running fire. As well as the usual heat, smoke and confusion, we also encountered also very steep slippery slopes, narrow tracks that could only be reversed down (so we could escape if trapped) and lots of dense scrub and fallen trees etc. But I have to say that the training we’ve done with you all kicked in and we got through with no incidents and no vehicle damage other than only a few melted mirrors etc. I reckon I used every skill and drill we learned and practiced in your program (except vehicle recovery – because we didn’t get stuck anywhere!). Stall stop/starts on steep slopes, tight gullies and slippery hill sides, rocky outcrops, reversing down tracks for 100’s of metres and driving at speed on windy dirt tracks were all skills we had to use daily for the duration of the fire. We used wheel chocks all the time as the slopes were so steep sometimes the fire pump would stall due to the angle and we negotiated country that was hard to climb on foot, let alone take a QRV into.
So. . .thanks again for your great work in training us.
Peter Newman - DEWNR