Training props put firefighters on right track
NSW firefighters now have access to $3 million worth of world-class practice props, including a decommissioned Sydney train, designed to simulate a range of real-life emergency scenarios, from house fires to flood rescue and even derailments.
Minister for Transport, Veterans and Western Sydney David Elliott said providing real props for training is vital in ensuring first responders are able to experience challenges they might confront when dealing with real emergencies.
“Transport for NSW has worked with Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) to a recreate a station and a 115-metre section of track so that first responders can fine-tune their response to rail accidents and rescues, mass-casualty and medical incidents, and chemical attacks,” Mr Elliott said.
“The training props, which include a train carriage, railway station and level crossing, are critical training resources which will be used by other NSW emergency services and first responders as well the Australian Defence Force, Endeavour Energy, the Fire Protection Association and interstate emergency service counterparts.”
Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the specially sourced and custom-built assets at FRNSW’s Emergency Services Academy in Western Sydney will give firefighters the edge.
“These life-like props bring our firefighters as close to real situations as possible in a controlled environment, helping them build the confidence, skills and understanding to respond when an emergency strikes,” Ms Cooke said.
“This multi-million dollar investment cements NSW as a world leader in teaching and upskilling first responders and specialist response teams.”
FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter said the expanded Emergency Services Academy training environment will improve the abilities of firefighters and those they work alongside, helping them better protect communities.
“Our state-of-the-art practical learning environment means our firefighters can train for a variety of incidents in a safe but authentic environment,” Commissioner Baxter said.
“This investment really reinforces that we’re prepared for not only the emergencies occurring today, but also the challenges which may confront us in the future.”
The new additions to the Emergency Services Academy include:
- A single-storey four-bedroom house fitted with fake flames, smoke machines, hazards (including overloaded power boards and faulty smoke alarms), obstructions, and working from heights scenarios – to allow firefighters to refresh their fire safety awareness, practice response to residential structure fires and indoor rescues, and gain exposure to regulated sprinkler systems;
- A rail emergency prop including a railway station, level crossing and a two carriage train along a 115-metre-long single line of track – to allow firefighters to fine-tune their response to train accidents and rescues, mass-casualty and medical incidents, working in confined spaces and chemical attacks;
- A heat management system installed in an existing training tower – to allow firefighters to experience an environment with similar temperatures and conditions to those of a structure fire;
- Pumping and draughting props including inground pits, water/foam capture voids, and a partially collapsed structure – to allow firefighters to practice a wide range of situations including rescues from vehicles in floodwaters, vehicle impacting buildings, trench and confined space rescues, environmental risks, and fires in medium-sized buildings; and
- Electrical safety props including poles, downed wires, and a pad mount – to allow firefighters to practice dealing with infrastructure failures and addressing issues of arcing and smoke issuing within the power distribution network.