More than 200 local Rural Fire Service (RFS) volunteer firefighters will take part in the largest simulated Zone Exercise to date as they prepare for a potentially deadly fire season.
After a particularly dry winter, the RFS is preparing for a challenging fire season with NSW already being ravaged by bushfires and facing one of the worst starts to a fire season in history.
The scenarios, which are set to take place in Marulan on 10 November, include property protection, communications, motor vehicle accidents and first aid to ensure that firefighters are prepared to face the very hot and dry months predicted ahead.
More than 45 firefighting appliances are being brought in from across the Southern Tablelands, Southern Highlands and the ACT to help assist with the drills.
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Acting Zone Manager Inspector George Shepherd reinforced the importance of preparedness in tough conditions.
“Our volunteer firefighters put an enormous amount of time and energy into training to ensure they are prepared and the largest ever Southern Tablelands Zone exercise is a way to put that weekly training into more complicated scenarios ahead of what’s looking like a tough fire season,” Shepherd says.
The RFS is also reinforcing the importance of community vigilance, urging individuals to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones in the months ahead.
“It’s essential everyone is prepared as our volunteer firefighters are preparing for the difficult conditions ahead,” says Shepherd. “It’s a timely reminder for households to consider and review their fire plan.”
Planning for these exercises has been underway for months, with a focus on trying to minimise the impact these large scale drills and firefighting appliances will have on regional communities and the general public.
“With so many firefighting appliances on the road as part of the largest Zone Exercise in Southern Tablelands history, residents are urged not to be alarmed but to use the weekend as a good reminder prepare as well,” Shepherd says.
More information is available on www.rfs.nsw.gov.au or at the Marulan Fire Station.