Navy training builds firies' resilience

Published on Will Singer (author), Unknown (photographer)

Location(s): Rockingham

Volunteer fire fighters from the Baldivis Bush Fire Brigade at the Royal Australian Navy School of Ship Safety and Survivability (RANSSSS) in HMAS Stirling: (L-R) Lieutenants Brenton Smith, Neil Chaplin, Rik Mills and Aaron Higgins.  (photo: Unknown)
Volunteer fire fighters from the Baldivis Bush Fire Brigade at the Royal Australian Navy School of Ship Safety and Survivability (RANSSSS) in HMAS Stirling: (L-R) Lieutenants Brenton Smith, Neil Chaplin, Rik Mills and Aaron Higgins.

Volunteer “firies” from Baldivis Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade have conducted fire-fighting training at the Royal Australian Navy School of Ship Safety and Survivability onboard HMAS Stirling.

This training was conducted with the Brigade as part of the ongoing commitment by the Stirling command team to local community engagement. 

The training provided an opportunity for the civilians to conduct drills, such as defensive structural fire-fighting utilising the training ground at the base.

Officer-in-Charge of the facility, Warrant Officer Mark Karslake said that he and his team were committed to supporting the local bush fire brigade who were appreciative for the weekend training opportunity.

“While the training is normally conducted for ship and submarine fire-training it has been easily adapted for the bush-fire-brigade,” Warrant Officer Karslake said. 

“Training such as ‘helicopter crash-on-deck’ suddenly becomes a fuel truck crash with a running fuel fire while the superstructure fire-fighting unit becomes the defensive structural fire.

“Not only does this allow the newer volunteer fire fighters to experience the reality of fire-fighting, it enhances their skills in a safe and controlled environment before they face the real danger.”

The more experienced members were provided an opportunity to practice their command and control techniques. 

This training opportunity allowed volunteers to develop their individual and team resilience while experiencing scenarios like conducting the smoke walk in the submarine simulator while wearing breathing apparatus. 

This invaluable training allowed uniformed and non-uniformed members, from the same local community to engage in a day of training that could benefit to everyone during the challenging bush-fire season.