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Operation Ignite fires interest in emergency services

Charlie with Emergency Services Cadets Operation Ignite
Charlie with Emergency Services Cadets. A new program in Gin Gin called Operation Ignite will aim to increase the presence of volunteers and emergency services personnel.

Operation Ignite next month intends to fire the imagination of the region’s teens to encourage involvement with emergency services.

Recent bushfires around the Bundaberg Region have highlighted the need for more volunteers and emergency services personnel to maintain peak operational levels.

A program being rolled out in Gin Gin will offer two days of training and simulated exercises and perhaps see some transition into roles with emergency services.

Operation Ignite is a program run under the guidance of the PCYC Emergency Services Cadets Program Team, which is held in regional and rural communities around the state targeting young people and exposing them to the roles of emergency services personnel.

The program will involve district emergency services members supported by PCYC Queensland Emergency Services Cadets from Childers and Biggenden.

PCYC behind Operation Ignite initiative

PCYC Emergency Service Cadets program coordinator Nicole Palmer said the two-day course was aimed at providing background in understanding the roles of the various emergency services providers including Police, SES, Ambulance, Fireys (both rural and QFES) and aims to build community resilience.

“A valuable spin-off from the training and the scenarios the participants encounter is an appreciation of bushfire awareness, storm safety and other emergency preparedness campaigns,” she said.

Nicole said the Gin Gin program, scheduled for February 15-16, will involve training in rotational groups sampling areas like communications, first aid, use of appliances including fire hoses and undertaking drills that promote an element of competitiveness within the group.

“One of the best outcome we could receive from this program is to have young people inspired to join emergency services within their communities,” Nicole said.

Kids love to experience training programs

Training officer with the Tirroan Rural Fire Brigade Charlie Garwood said it was hoped to attract 25 young people aged between 10 and 17 to participate in Operation Ignite which will be held at the SES facility in Flanders Street, Gin Gin.

“The program is similar to an event we undertook some time ago when we hosted 25 to 30 kids from Biggenden with a co-ordinated training exercise where they were exposed to the roles undertaken by volunteer firefighters including the importance of teamwork,” he said.

“The kids loved that program and it’s good to see it expanded through this PCYC initiative.

“We have exceptional support from all emergency services, and we have drafted a program that provides six stations where different activities will be undertaken. All participants rotate to each station.”

Emergency services Operation Ignite
Charlie at Garwood at the Gin Gin Show.

Charlie said the key message emphasised is the need for teamwork.

“The participants will learn skills and drills through various activities and understand the need for using clear and concise language in two-way radio messaging.

“Understanding how search patterns are organised is another important aspect of the skills day. All these lessons from the skills and drills will be put into practice through an orchestrated scenario the following day.”

“We are looking for participants. We have a number already enrolled but anyone who fits the age criteria is welcome to go online and fill out the appropriate form and register.”

Participants must be available for the two days of Operation Ignite.

To register email [email protected] for additional information.

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