Firefighting skills shared

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Will Singer (author), ABIS James McDougall (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Stirling

Topic(s): Training, HMAS Stirling

Fire-fighters from the Welshpool Fire Station and the staff of the School of Survivability and Ship Safety, during the fire-fighter's training visit to HMAS Stirling, Western Australia. (photo: ABIS James McDougall)
Fire-fighters from the Welshpool Fire Station and the staff of the School of Survivability and Ship Safety, during the fire-fighter's training visit to HMAS Stirling, Western Australia.

Navy and civilian fire-fighters in Western Australia have joined forces in an effort to share skills and experiences for increased capability.

Fire-fighters from Welshpool Fire and Rescue conducted specialised training at the School of Survivability and Ship Safety Training Facility-West in HMAS Stirling.

The facility enabled the Urban Search and Rescue Team to conduct compartment fire training in a ship-board fire fighting environment.

The team used the ship training model to rehearse entry, fire-suppression and command and control procedures.

Station Officer Jamie Anderson said that the purpose-built facility gave them an opportunity to experience a different environment than what is provided by Department of Fire and Emergency Services at the training Academy.

“This is the first time Welshpool Fire station has conducted this training at Stirling, but other Emergency Services units have participated in training here in the past,” Station Officer Anderson said.

“Of interest to some of the team members among the crew was a demonstration of the thermal lance cutting tool.

“The team enjoyed the training facilities, which provide a realistic training environment to refresh and hone their skills in ship-board fire fighting and compartment fire fighting.”

Training Facility Manager Warrant Officer Marine Technician Mark Karslake said that the assets at the facility present opportunities to assist local emergency services with maritime fire fighting and general training.

“We also assist our local volunteer fire and rescue services when they have the opportunity, generally done on weekends,” Warrant Officer Karslake said.

“This training happens mainly through word of mouth.

“Emergency Services have a simulator, although it isn't set out as a dedicated marine environment like ours is.

“We have a couple of other brigades planning visits in the near future,” he said.

Station Officer Anderson said it was an opportunity to share ideas across similar high pressure environments.

“Warrant Officer Karslake and his team were very accommodating and willing to assist our team in meeting our training outcomes,” he said. 

“His team provided a professional training environment which was appreciated by our team.

“Department of Fire and Emergency Services crews would be more than willing to return to the facility in the future,” he said.