For those who would like a little more information about this year’s bushfire games, here are a few Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) that our hard working games committee have put together
1. What do the games involve (what tasks etc) and how many teams are expected to participate, and where from?
The games involve teams of 6 fire fighters competing in drills against the clock judged for their accuracy, skill and most important on how safely they complete these tasks. The tasks for this year’s games are the 6 man heavy hose drill where there is 6 different tasks to be completed in a 10 min time frame. These tasks are all basic skills that a firefighter may be required to use while at a rural/bush fire.
The 2nd task is the relay pump event where the team has to draft water from a water supply into their light tanker before they can start the rest of the task which involves running hose and putting in a dividing breach in to have 2 lines to knock down the targets .This event is also a 6 man team event and relies very much on communications and hand signals as the firefighter on the end of the hose can’t see the pump operator
2. Why are these games important and why do you encourage brigades to get involved?
The games haven’t been run for 3 years and would encourage all Volunteer Bush fire brigades to get involved as this is a great way to enhance skills form life bonds with members from other brigades. All the tasks are designed to enhance team building skills and proficiency of all those involved
3. How long have the games been running for and how are you hoping to make 2017 different?
The games have been running for at least 15yrs and this year for the first time the games are going to start around mid- day and finish under flood lights. Another 1st is the games are going to be run in conjunction with a Local Government Bush fire expo where people can come down and get relevant and up to date information on how to make their homes/properties safe for the upcoming Bushfire Season. Local Volunteer Bush fire brigades will have representatives there to assist land and property owners with enquires and help them set up a bush fire ready group in their local neighborhood.
For the teams that have entered for the 1st time there is prize money for the winning teams which they will be able to take back to their brigades for the extras that a nice to have which may not be covered under current funding. This year we are looking to go hi tech with a drone streaming the action as it happens to a large outdoor screen.
4. Why are you hoping to make this the biggest games yet – is there somewhere/ something you would like to see these games achieve and why is this so important to you?
The games will bigger than before for the fact we are running these in conjunction with a bushfire expo which hasn’t been done before. We have approximately 25-30 teams coming which is as good as the last games that were run. We are also involving other volunteer groups, SES Bush fire brigades, St Johns, Volunteer Fire and rescue. Even though these other organisations aren’t competing it gives them an opportunity to come along put up a tent/display and could lead to these organisations getting new members as well. It also a very good opportunity for the various organisations to build some inter agency team building which will lead to better cooperation when at an incident
5. What could growth of the games mean for the bush fire brigade sector?
The growth of the games /expo will lead to better community awareness and gives the residents an opportunity to come down and get to know the Volunteers who put in a lot of their time to protect the communities they live in. There will also be plenty of opportunities for the organisations involved to recruit for new members and well as building inter agency cooperation for incidents. The Association for Volunteer Bush Fire brigades will also be represented and it will be a great chance to come down and pose some questions around Bush fire brigades and what their future is looking like.
6. A few other family activities are planned for the day including a possible demonstration – what activates are planned and why are these being held to coincide with the games?
As well as the games and the expo there will be Static displays of equipment from the past and what the future has for us. There will be food stalls, rides and something for everyone. The static displays will involve everything from fire trucks through to stuff to help keep your homes/ properties safe not only from bush fire but an emergency.
7. Please feel free to include any further information you want including times/ other event information to provide the public.
The event will start at 1030 am on Saturday September 23rd at Hartfield Oval in Forrestfield .There will be an opening ceremony with speakers from Local government ,DFES, Association of Volunteer Bush fire Brigades and a traditional Welcome to Country . The Games will start at 12pm sharp with both the main events being run simultaneously and will be aiming to finish at around 1830-1900 with the prize giving and closing.
For all the teams competing this is a prelude to next year when we have been asked to run the event in conjunction with the Australasian Police and Emergency services games in Mandurah. This will be a great opportunity for the bush fire brigades to showcase our skills to over 2500 visitors and competitors from around the Asia Pacific region. We currently in discussion with the committee on exactly how we can achieve this.