Brigade volunteers are hot on training

Barrie Pack (left), with brigade president Max Williams and their specialist communications vehicle.
Barrie Pack (left), with brigade president Max Williams and their specialist communications vehicle.

Secretary Barrie Pack said the brigade had long played a crucial role in the volunteer bush fire brigade network across the Shire of Mundaring.

‘The brigade doesn’t have trucks with water hoses. It has an incident control vehicle fitted with specialist communication equipment,’ he said.

‘Situated close to the incident, we become co-ordinators between the fire incident management team and firefighters on the front line.

‘To ensure their safety and welfare, we know when to provide replacement firefighters and we can organise first aid and refreshments.’

Fire support includes radio, mobile phone and facsimile services in addition to computers for vehicle tracking, display of maps and GIS-derived data, and recording the presence of personnel and vehicles at incidents.

Mr Pack said the brigade had done a wonderful job in supporting on-the-ground firefighters for more than a quarter of a century.

The brigade has 46 members, of which 12 are females. It has four core teams of half a dozen members; with each rostered for duty on call one week in four, from 6am Saturday until 6am the following Saturday.

Members train twice monthly ” on Tuesday nights (two hours) and Sunday mornings (three hours).

On-the-job training is supplemented by attending formal courses conducted at the Mundaring Fire Fighters School in Stoneville.

To maintain a constant state of fire preparedness, each Saturday the brigade’s duty team conducts a ‘sched’ at a pre-determined field site in the Shire, where the vehicle and all its on-board equipment is carefully examined.

At 10am sharp, a radio check is conducted with all eight Shire of Mundaring brigades and their vehicles.