AIR Force firefighters and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services’ (QFES) have combined to test their ability to respond to hazardous materials incidents during an exercise at RAAF Base Amberley.
Number 23 Squadron (23SQN) firefighters donned various hazardous material (HAZMAT) suits and breathing kits to familiarise themselves with the QFES portable decontamination trailer on 18 Jun 19.
Personnel from both teams worked with 295SQN and Health Operational Conversion Unit medical staff and to understand the new equipment and procedures and ensure continued interoperability.
Key areas of the training included the fitting of appropriate personal protective equipment, product identification, chemical containment and clean up, education on the use of testing kits and detectors, casualty removal, medical requirements, and set up and use of the trailer.
23SQN firefighters also acted as contaminated civilians to rehearse the process through from rescue to release.
FSGT Darren Evans, Firefighter Manager at 23SQN said joint exercises such with QFES provide significant upgrades and insights for Air Force’s firefighting capability.
“It’s invaluable to interact with and learn from the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services,” FSGT Evans said.
“The best part of the training is for our team to have a greater general awareness and understanding to prepare for all kinds of emergencies.”
Mr Jed Crosby, Acting Inspector and Ipswich Area Commander QFES said it was important for both organisations to understand new advances in science and technology, and the role each will play in the event of an emergency on base.
“The purpose of the exercise is to assess and test Air Force and Fire and Rescue capability to deal with and combat different and challenging HAZMAT incidents,” Mr Crosby said.
“It’s critical we identify appropriate procedures so when an incident does happen, we can combat it safely and efficiently together.”