Firefighters are getting hands-on bushfire firefighting training
in a safe environment thanks to a new partnership between the Department of
Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) and Newmont’s Boddington Gold Mine.
A group of firefighters from DFES’ Station Officer Development
Program (SODP) got a chance to put theory into practice at a five day training
camp at the mine site in September.
DFES District Officer John Kagis, from the WA Fire and Emergency
Services (WAFES) Academy, said the mine, 16 kilometres from the Boddington town
site, is ideal for bushfire training exercises.
“The mine is set on 35,000 hectares of jarrah forest and is separated
into areas that can be used for backburning strategies and tactics,” John said.
“The camp gives officers the chance to operate in a realistic
bushfire environment and gain experience with supervising crews, aerial
firefighting resources and earth moving machinery.
“The training exercises put them in a situation where they need to
apply strategy and think about resources. It equips them with the knowledge and
skills they’ll need to effectively combat bushfires as a station officer in the
Earlier this year DFES used the same location to deliver an
Advanced Bushfire Firefighting course to local government Community Emergency
Services Managers, Bushfire Risk Mitigation Officers and local volunteers.
courses were run as live in camps, and the feedback from participants has been
that it’s an excellent training environment.
“It gives them
the opportunity to reinforce theory with practical activities such as
effectively using rake hoes to construct earth breaks, using drip torches to
undertake back burning, and practising burn over procedures,” John said.
for hosting DFES, the Emergency Response Teams from Newmont’ Boddington mine
will receive specialised training in bushfire suppression and incident
management from subject matter experts from DFES and Parks and Wildlife
John said there will be opportunities to incorporate training at
the mine for future trainee firefighters and volunteers.
Academy is planning more courses at the mine site in 2018.