20 August 2008

Firies home safe from California

| johnboy
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John Hargreaves has announced that the Canberra firefighters dispatched to help battle California’s raging wildfires (Tim Rhodes, Scott Farquhar, and Neil Cooper) have returned home safely.

    “The three ACT fire fighters worked on a fire complex called Siskiyou located in northern California which has been said to require snow fall to completely extinguish the fire.

    “Our fire fighters have not only been able to share their fire fighting experience with others overseas, they have also been able to develop skills that will provide invaluable experience to the ACT.

    “I am pleased to welcome our fire fighters home and congratulate them on their hard work and courage while supporting USA fire agencies in California,” said Mr Hargreaves.

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I don’t feel that $15000 is a lot of money for what is given in return in terms of experience and knowledge not to mention the use without question of American specialist air frame helicopters when we need a hand.

A phone call isn’t the same as being there and being involved.

The North Americans fight fires very differently to the way we do (mostly because they have so much more water). But I think it’s a good thing to learn new ideas and techniques.

While I understand that sending a convoy of fire trucks from Sydney to Canberra during bushfires might have some use, can anyone explain to me where the value is in spending $15000 sending three firemen to California? Presumably they did not have much equipment of use to the Americans, and surely the Americans could find 3 blokes for cheaper, so why do it?
And if it’s about networking and sharing ideas, have these guys heard of telephones?

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