More than 60 NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) staff from along the south coast converged in Ulladulla this week to practice their bush firefighting skills in preparation for the upcoming fire season.
Damien Dubrowin NPWS South Coast Fire Team Leader said staff travelled from Merimbula and the Illawarra to refresh their firefighting skills and get the latest available information on the forecast conditions for summer.
“Training activities included remote area gear, using portable UHF radios, navigation in the bush and what to do if you are trapped in a vehicle with an oncoming fire,” Mr Dubrowin said.
“The training is run each year and covers a range of scenarios, so our response in a fire emergency becomes second nature.
“A lot of emphasis is placed on the unlikely scenario that staff are caught in a vehicle facing fire and while we hope the training will never be put in practice, we need to be ready,” said Mr Dubrowin.
The fire preparedness training also covers the latest weather predictions provided the Bureau of Meteorology.
“We have just had a very dry winter so anything could happen in the next few weeks if we don’t get good rain,” Mr Dubrowin added.
“NPWS staff across the South Coast Branch are trained at a world standard in bush firefighting and hazard reduction work.
“They are at the ready to attack and contain any fire including being trained in helicopter winching and fighting fires in rugged terrain and very remote areas,” Mr Dubrowin said.
This training enables the NPWS to undertake the many hazard reduction operations across NSW each year as part of the NSW government's six year $76 million package to boost bushfire preparedness and double hazard reduction in the state's national parks where conditions allow.