Victoria | Training for on-the-road response in Geelong

Geelong | 27 April 2012

Geelong City Fire Brigade will be better equipped to respond to incidents after an intensive road rescue training course.

Six career firefighters from Geelong, one from Belmont and two from Dandenong spent the last two weeks learning and developing the skills needed to lead and perform road rescues.

The training course is practical and theoretical, with firefighters learning the best way to cut people out of cars and the safest way to remove a patient to protect their head, neck and spine.

During the first week MICA Paramedic Rick Kehoe from Ambulance Victoria talked about the best extrication path when removing patients trapped in vehicles.

“It’s important for us to learn the process of taking someone out of a vehicle so they’re protected as much as possible,” Road Rescue Training Coordinator Mathew Kneebone said.

Connections within the Geelong community mean firefighters get the most up-to-date knowledge of new vehicle technology.

“We work with local wrecking yards so we get experience cutting up cars and can practice the process,” Mr Kneebone said. “Ford allows us to spend a day at the Ford Proving Ground providing us with latest model cars. Vehicle technology is always changing with more airbags and stronger metals being used.

“The Ford Discovery Centre allows us access to learn about vehicle construction and the evolution of motor vehicle construction.”

The trainees also spent two days at Fiskville to train in similar realistic scenarios.

“We provide two weeks of intensive practical and theoretical training  that we would otherwise spend 12 months or more training individuals on shift,” Mr Kneebone said. “After the intensive training, candidates will return to shift and focus on tool knowledge and driving to complete their road rescue training.

“Not only will firefighters be better equipped to respond to road rescue call outs and protect the community but it means more shift flexibility for brigades,” Mr Kneebone said.

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