Gatton’s training day sparks firefighter readiness

QFES West Moreton Area Director Paul Storrs, with volunteers from 18 regional brigades, thanked Lockyer Valley Regional Council for the ongoing support. Pictured with councillor Michael Hagan. Picture: JESSE HAMILTON

The Gatton Showgrounds buzzed with activity on 11 May as firefighters from rural fire bridges united for a training day focused on drills and skills in preparation for the upcoming fire season.

Eighteen brigades, spanning regions from the South West to Pine Mountain, joined forces for the day, welcoming a range of new and experienced volunteer crew.

QFES Lockyer Valley group officer Wayne Scholl, who ran the day’s drills, said the training day was an opportunity for teams to sharpen their skills and connect with volunteers from other brigades.

“We do different scenarios, so it’s rolling a hose out, putting a nozzle on the end of it and knocking over cones,” he said. 

“It’s getting to know everything from how to operate the radio to sharpening their time management with different drills.” 

QFES West Moreton Region area director Paul Storrs said rural fire service opportunities are wide-ranging and offer people a chance to support their local community. 

“It’s about being in your community and supporting your community from fires and other emergencies that happen,” he said.

“We don’t just need firefighters, there’s lots of roles, from planning and training officers to running maintenance. 

“My wife and I have been volunteering for 29 years it’s one of the most rewarding roles iv’e experienced, and I have made lifelong friends from it.”

The Lockyer Valley is home to 16 rural fire brigades, with bushfire season starting as early as July and peak fire activity occurring in spring.

Those interested in volunteering are encouraged to contact their local brigade by visiting the Rural Fire Service Queensland website.