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140 Volunteers will take part in community fire training this weekend

Published: 1st August 2007

Preparation for the summer bushfire season kicks off in Greenacre this weekend when more than 140 volunteers will attend a NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) bushfire training weekend.

Members from 50 NSWFB Community Fire Units (CFU) across NSW will attend this new member skills acquisition training session to develop the skills they need to assist firefighters in defending their own homes against bushfires.

NSWFB Deputy Commissioner Ken Thompson 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 NSW Rural Fire Service and NSWFB firefighters during bushfires in their community," Deputy Commissioner Thompson said.
 
"There are 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."

Volunteers initially complete 12 hours of skills acquisition training with firefighters from the NSWFB Bushfire/Natural Hazards Section and local fire stations.  The training focuses on bushfire behaviour, first aid and members also learn how to use fire hoses, hydrants and how to pump water from a static water supply using a portable pump.  Once members have completed the initial training they are required to complete 12 hours of training a year with NSWFB to ensure they are up to date with the latest procedures and equipment so they can better protect their homes against bushfires.

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.

Deputy Commissioner Thompson said the CFU volunteers are a great asset to our local communities.

"These residents perform a vital role in our communities by raising awareness and working alongside firefighters to actively deliver community safety messages". 

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