Country Fire Service volunteers learned how to used SCBA equipment at a recent training session. Picture: CFS

Sophie Conlon

FOR the first time in five years, Country Fire Service (CFS) volunteers across the South East have been able to gain breathing apparatus training within the Limestone Coast.

CFS region 5 commander Jason Druwitt said the specialist Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) training has previously been held in the Adelaide Hills, and it was good to have it available locally in Naracoorte again.

“This means our volunteers can undertake training within their own community, which decreases the amount of travel they’ve got to do,” he said.

“Having the ability to train locally gives them the opportunity to train in their own region.”

Mr Druwitt said CFS volunteers, and one ambulance volunteer, from around the South East took part in the course and were now qualified to use the SCBA equipment.

“We had 12 [CFS] participants on the course and they were from brigades all across the region,” he said.

“It’s the ability for our crews to go into an area where the atmosphere is what we call irrespirable, so it couldn’t sustain life.

“They can put this on to make sure their not breathing in contaminants, and contaminating their body with smoke or any particulates from the fire.”

The commander said it was a two day theory heavy course, with practical learning after that.

“It’s about introducing them to how to use the capability and then drills were required, and then there’s ongoing assessments to make sure they meet the capabilities because it’s a nationally accredited course,” he said.

Having SCBA CFS volunteers in the region meant they were qualified to fight fires from inside a building or attend events like gas leaks.

“It’s about the protection and the value of our community because it provides the ability for our crews to do something, but it also protects our crews from inhaling particulates,” he said.

The course gained great feedback from participants Mr Druwitt hoped SCBA training would continue to be held in the region

“Its was a successful weekend, all our participants passed which was really good and the feedback we received from the course has been overwhelming,” he said.

Mr Druwitt said he was thankful for employers and the families of volunteers who continue to support them while they support the community.

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