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Training day for Blue Mountains bushfire volunteers

Published: 24th May 2007

Preparation for the summer bushfire season kicks off in the Blue Mountains this weekend with a training session for NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) Community Fire Unit (CFU) volunteers.

Around 100 local residents from 22 CFUs will be involved in the event on Sunday 27 May to hone the skills they need to assist firefighters to defend their homes against bushfires.

NSWFB Commissioner Greg Mullins said: “CFUs are made up of ordinary men and women who play an important role in supporting trained firefighters during bushfires in their community.

“It is the role of CFUs to put out spot fires and flying embers in their street before and after the main fire fronts have passed. This allows NSWFB and NSW Rural Fire Service firefighters to get on with the main job of fighting the intense fire fronts.”

CFUs are provided with equipment valued at $15,000, including fire fighting hoses, portable pumps, hydrant standpipes, safety helmets, gloves, smoke masks, goggles, tools, first aid kits, knapsack pumps, boots and protective clothing.

During the half day training session on Sunday, the volunteers will learn about bushfire behaviour, first aid and test their skills pumping water from a static water supply using a portable pump. They will also practise using fire hoses, hydrants and knapsacks. The training will be provided by firefighters from the NSWFB Bushfire/Natural Hazards Section, Katoomba, Springwood, Blackheath and Mount Victoria.

Commissioner Mullins added: “Blue Mountains residents know from personal experience how devastating bushfires can be. By volunteering their time to attend this training day they are demonstrating their commitment to defending their neighbourhoods.”

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

WHERE: Browntown Oval, Mount Victoria
WHAT: 100 residents undertaking CFU training, including the use of portable pumps, fire hoses and hydrants
WHEN: Sunday 27 May, 10am-2.30pm