TEAMWORK: QFES firefighters Bobby Weaver, Travis Mahon and Jason Dawson use a collar dam during a training exercise at Lake Apex on Saturday.
TEAMWORK: QFES firefighters Bobby Weaver, Travis Mahon and Jason Dawson use a collar dam during a training exercise at Lake Apex on Saturday. Francis Witsenhuysen

Firefighters put skills to the test at Gatton training day

LAKE Apex Park was a hive of activity on Saturday as 55 Queensland Fire and Emergency Service firefighters united for the QFES Lockyer Valley 2018 Group Exercise.

The training day put the firefighters to the test in a range of team-building exercises designed to target the core skills needed when they are called to a fire or an emergency.

QFES members from 16 brigades across West Moreton trained in first aid and basic firefighting skills on the day.

In one exercise, officers used a collar dam, a self-supporting water bladder used for the storage of water for appliances or aircraft.

QFES Lockyer Valley group officer Jamie Reside said the training day was vital for both new and old members.

"Members need to know these core and basic skills to know what to do on a fire ground,” Mr Reside said.

"This day is about skill sharing, building teamwork and promoting familiarity between one brigade's equipment to another.

"We've got new members here today that may not have done any of this before.”

Twenty-nine QFES vehicles were on hand on the day, including support vehicles staff vehicles, firefighting appliances and tankers.

"Members need to understand what fleet we have these days too,” Mr Reside said.

"A lot of these fire trucks are new and no one is assigned to their normal truck during exercises.”

He said he hoped the training day would become an annual event for the region's firefighters.

Rural Fire Service regional manager for the southeast, Superintendant Alan Gillespie said the exercise was important preparation ahead of the fire season.

If you are interested in becoming a QFES volunteer firefighter, contact your local brigade, or visit www.qfes.qld.gov.au.