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Training to be engulfed by fire


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By NADINE MORTON Sept. 8, 2012, 4 a.m.

“EMERGENCY, emergency, emergency!”

That was the call blasted over CB radios as NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS) staff undertook an emergency training scenario on Thursday.

In a simulated exercise NSW NPWS firefighters were given just one minute and 30 seconds to prepare for a simulated fire that was about to engulf their vehicle.

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SUMMER READY: National Parks and Wildlife field officer Casey Mobbs and senior fire ranger Sheila Lee check their equipment during an annual fire preparedness day this week.

NSW NPWS senior fire ranger Sheila Lee said it was vital firefighters knew what to do in the worst possible scenario.

In a co-ordinated effort firefighters put on balaclavas and other personal protective equipment and ducked under a fire blanket in the cabin of their vehicle until the fire front passed.

Mrs Lee said 20 NSW NPWS staff from across the central west converged on NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Canobolas Fire Control to ensure they were ready for the upcoming fire season.

The simulated fire is just one of many training exercises they undertake annually in essential fire preparedness training, according to Mrs Lee.

She said training was vital to ensure all staff were as safe as possible when fighting fires.

“We check gear, personal protective equipment,” she said.

Equipment is tested, skills are refreshed and friendships are reinforced with NSW RFS personnel.

“We cross boundaries, the RFS do assist [us] and we also assist them,” Mrs Lee said.



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