Annual Field Exercise at Glen Innes to showcase Rural Fire Service firefighter skills

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Overview of the Northern Field Exercise

This weekend, Glen Innes Showground will be the hub for the 22nd annual Northern Field Exercise, a key event where hundreds of New South Wales Rura Fire Service (NSWRFS) members will sharpen their firefighting and emergency response skills.

Deputy Commissioner Field Operations, Peter McKechnie AFSM, is set to welcome over 300 RFS members on Saturday morning.

Participants include more than 40 crews from 15 RFS Districts and two Queensland fire services.

The exercise is designed to test members in roles like firefighting, catering, communications, and incident management, essential in large-scale emergencies.

Training Scenarios and Crew Participation

Crews will engage in 11 training scenarios, encompassing bush firefighting, motor vehicle accident response, gas attack, and vehicle maintenance.

Deputy Commissioner McKechnie remarked: “Members will have their skills tested across the weekend in a number of roles including firefighting, catering, communications and incident management functions; all critical roles in large scale emergencies.”

He also noted the significance of this event following one of the busiest bush fire seasons since 2019-20, with over 1,100 bush and grass fires attended by RFS crews in the state’s north.

Commitment to Comprehensive Training

The RFS’s commitment to equipping its members with thorough training and state-of-the-art equipment is echoed by Deputy Commissioner Preparedness and Capability Kyle Stewart APM.

Stewart, attending Sunday’s exercises, emphasised the importance of such events: “These exercises provide a safe learning environment in which volunteers and staff can refine their skills, learn new techniques and share ideas with each other,” he said.

Additionally, he highlighted the value of the exercise in recognising the volunteers’ dedication to community protection.

IFSJ Comment

The 22nd annual Northern Field Exercise at Glen Innes exemplifies the dedication and continuous skill enhancement of RFS members.

The diverse and realistic scenarios ensure that RFS crews are well-prepared for a range of emergencies.

Such initiatives are crucial in maintaining high standards of emergency response and community safety.

By providing a platform for practical training and knowledge exchange, the RFS reinforces its commitment to excellence in firefighting and emergency services.

This event not only strengthens the capabilities of individual members but also enhances the collective readiness of the RFS, making it an invaluable component of their training regimen.

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