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Community fire training for lower Blue Mountains

Published: 20th July 2007

Preparation for the summer bushfire season kicks off in the lower Blue Mountains on Sunday 22 July.

More than 140 volunteers will attend a NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) Community Fire Unit (CFU) training session to develop the skills they need to assist firefighters in defending their own homes against bushfires.

NSWFB Commissioner Greg Mullins said that CFUs were a great asset to the local community.

“CFUs are made up of ordinary men and women who play an important role in supporting RFS and NSWFB firefighters during bushfires in their community.
 
“It is about preparation and prevention and not just acting when there’s a bushfire.  We have 350 CFUs in NSW with more than 6,400 volunteers working all year round clearing leaves out of gutters, establishing fire breaks and preparing themselves and their properties for the bushfire season.

“It is the role of CFUs to put out small 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.”

During the half day training session 140 local residents from 35 CFUs 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 practice using fire hoses and hydrants. The training will be provided by firefighters from the NSWFB Bushfire/Natural Hazards Section and Lawson, Glenbrook and Springwood fire stations.

CFUs are provided with a CFU trailer valued at $15,000, which contains firefighting hoses, portable pumps, hydrant standpipes, safety helmets, gloves, smoke masks, goggles, tools, first aid kits, boots and protective clothing.

For more information on CFUs visit the Community section on the NSWFB website at www.fire.nsw.gov.au, and for more information on general bushfire safety, visit the RFS website at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au