Volunteers take part in boat fire training

By Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Deniliquin Rescue Squad (VRA) and Fire & Rescue took part in multi-agency training to develop vital skills needed to extinguish boat fires on the Edward River on Tuesday night.

This is particularly important after the devastating houseboat fires in Moama in December 2017.

‘‘We were able to discover the use and capacity of our pump in their (VRA) boat, what sort of pressure we had that may be capable of extinguishing a fire and how to go about it,’’ Fire & Rescue Deputy Captain Les Booth said.

‘‘These situations don’t happen very often but when they do we want to be prepared, especially when working with other services.

‘‘The interaction was a great opportunity to refine those skills by both Fire & Rescue and VRA in collaboration. We are definitely looking to do further joint training so we are prepared to the best of our ability to help the community.’’

The Deniliquin VRA squad regularly trains on the water and in emergency situations, making it the ideal service to assist Fire & Rescue in accessing any river fires.

VRA provided two of its rescue boats for the exercise, one for the pump and one as a dummy fire boat.

‘‘I didn’t realise how hard it was for the boat driver, especially with the spray (hose setting),’’ firefighter Clint Free said.

‘‘It was dragging the boat so they were working really hard.’’

Mr Booth said the training was an overall success.

‘‘It allowed most members to fine tune their skills while giving our newer members the opportunity to learn those vital skills,’’ he said.

‘‘We are constantly looking for opportunities to maintain and develop the different skill sets needed to effectively operate professionally and safely.

‘‘We thank VRA for the opportunity to work with them in the multi-agency training evening.’’