A burning building, persons injured and trapped, a firefighter missing following the collapse of a wall and a concussed causality dazed and wandering in bushland – all part of Operation Ignite.
While this sounds like a disaster to test the abilities of local emergency services, it was actually the hypothetical scenario developed for participants of Operation Ignite, an exercise carried out under the umbrella of the PCYC in Gin Gin at the weekend.
The two day training exercise attracted a full complement of 20 locals aged between 10 and 17 and exposed them to the roles of various emergency services operating in the Gin Gin area.
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.
“Obviously we hope that training of this kind may encourage young people to want to boost numbers of local emergency service participants.
Operation Ignite an outstanding success
“The two day exercise has been an outstanding success and produced the outcomes envisaged,” said Nicole.
“All participants were provided with training aimed at helping them understand the roles undertaken by all support agencies in an emergency.
“The group of 20, supported by six PCYC Emergency Service Cadets from the Childers group, were shown the use of firefighting equipment, the control hierarchy necessary in any emergency situation, medical assistance, the roles of the SES and the correct use of communications.
“The scenario set up on the second day of the exercise saw the participants put those learnings into practice under the guidance of experienced emergency services personnel,” said Nicole.
“While it was a wonderful experience for the 20 participants, it also provided a rare opportuniy for numerous emergency services to get together.
“Usually an emergency response will not involve all agencies but this exercise brought them together as trainers and everyone was delighted that it had provided an opportunity for professional and social interaction.”
Uni graduate inspired to join brigade
Recent university graduate and Gin Gin resident Melissa Christi said she was a new recruit to her local Rural Fire Brigade.
“I think living in the area you see the necessity for these volunteer groups and I simply wanted to be a part of it. The training this weekend has been brilliant. It has inspired me and I’m sure it has inspired the 20 young participants.”
“The great thing about participating in volunteer services is that everyone is valued, everyone is equal,” said Melissa.
Gin Gin teenager Kevin Wilson said he couldn’t wait to be able to join the local rural fire brigade.
“I’m too young at the moment but I’ll be able to join at the end of the year.”
Teenagers can’t wait to join fire services
Kevin and his mate Ashton both participated in the two day course and loved every aspect of the weekend.
“I really want to join the rural brigade because of a fire that happened at our property and burnt for two days. It was an eye-opener to see how the fireys were dedicated and how they responded,” said Kevin.
Ashton said the recent Australia-wide bushfires had brought home to him the importance of volunteers and the great work performed by firefighters.
“It seems obvious that we are going to need more numbers in future years,” he said.
Operation Ignite in Gin Gin was the initial program of its type and the PCYC intends to build on the success of the format and hold similar events across Queensland.
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