Saturday, 24 February 2018

Helicopters QFES team trains to deal with Commonwealth Games emergencies

Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford has been given a preview of the specialised training being undertaken by QFES personnel who will take to the skies to deal with emergencies during the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Mr Crawford today (Sunday) visited the QFES aircraft hangar at Archerfield in Brisbane to watch the ready-reaction team – who will be deployed in helicopters - in action, ahead of the Games in April.
He said 35 QFES personnel – including the QFES State Air Operations Unit – are undergoing the Integrated Emergency Response Capability training in readiness for operations from an airfield in the Gold Coast Hinterland.
“The personnel being trained will be based there during the Games, and deployed in helicopters to deal with incidents including traffic snarls or accidents – and prevent further issues possibly developing,” Mr Crawford said.
“They will be working with specialised sets of equipment which can be assembled quickly.
“The 35 QFES staff and volunteers include Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) and Rural Fire Service (RFS) firefighters, and State Emergency Service (SES) operators.
“Of these, 12 Fire and Rescue Service firefighters have been Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) accredited.
“USAR is a specialised technical locate-and-rescue capability which incorporates pre-planning and using self-sufficient, multi-agency personnel for emergency response or critical incidents response.”
Apart from the additional training, Mr Crawford said QFES’ air capability will also be considerably enhanced during the Games.
He said two helicopters will be based in the Gold Coast hinterland for the full deployment period from April 4 to April 15.
“Every day, two pilots, six USAR, two aviation support crew and an air observer will be deployed to observe and assist across the Gold Coast and surrounds,” he said.
“More than 850 QFES personnel will be deployed during the Commonwealth Games, which will be an exciting and challenging time for everyone involved – athletes, visitors, volunteers and workers.
“That’s why training is critical to making everything run smoothly,” he said.
Commissioner Katarina Carroll said more than 400 QFES volunteers are undergoing specialist training in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games.
“We are focused on creating a safe environment through effective planning and quality training to equip our workforce with the skills needed,” she said.
Ms Carroll said QFES’ involvement would also include about 400 paid employees, in addition to the volunteers.

Source: Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
The Honourable Craig Crawford


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