***VISION ALERT*** Firefighters urge safety in the snowfields this winter - Perisher Valley

Published: 19 Jun 2024 11:21am

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) is reminding travellers heading to and from the snowfields this winter to exercise patience and safety on the icy roads.

The FRNSW crews of permanent firefighters, seconded to the Perisher Valley Fire Station for the next few months, along with local On-call firefighters, are undergoing additional alpine training this winter, familiarising themselves with the Hagglund tracked fire appliance, skidoos and six-wheel All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), used by the fire service in the NSW snowfields.

The crews are prepared for anything in the alpine environment, including vehicle crashes on the region’s roads, rescuing lost or injured skiers and possible fires in resort lodges.

FRNSW Region South Zone Commander, Mark Cavanough, said the firefighters are faced with a very unusual and dynamic environment in the snowfields with both the topography and weather liable to change by the hour.

“We’ve had in excess of 25-centimetres of snow on one day alone recently and we witnessed the weather change very quickly,” Superintendent Cavanough said.

“It’s really important that the crews familiarise themselves with not just the appliances and the vehicles they drive but also with the weather conditions and the topography.

“We equip our firefighters with alpine weather gear but many of these firefighters have never worked in these environments…those conditions can be extremely dangerous for any emergency service personnel.

“We bring them up to speed with their environment and equipment very quickly.”

FRNSW is warning motorists to take extra care when negotiating their way to and from the resort villages.

“There can be a bit of a mass exodus out of Perisher or Thredbo at the end of a weekend and we can get accidents occurring, so it’s really important that our visitors are aware of those conditions, drive appropriately and show patience because we can get thousands of people converging on the snowfields on a good weekend,” Superintendent Cavanough said.

Media note – FRNSW footage of firefighters training on the ATVs is available here: https://vimeo.com/960756509/0a20300f75?share=copy [external link]

Updated: 19 Jun 2024 11:26am

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Stations nearby


Kosciusko Road, Perisher Valley NSW 2624

THREDBO Fire Station

1 Friday Drive, Thredbo Village NSW 2625

JINDABYNE Fire Station

10 Thredbo Terrace, Jindabyne NSW 2627