DAYS spent learning how to roll firehoses, start pumps and back burn came to fruition last week when 26 trainee rural fire fighters from The Armidale School’s were called out to assist brigades with blazes across the north.
Following up on training days throughout the year as par tof the school’s Activities program, the students were called away from mock scenarios at the Armidale RFS Control Centre during Activities Week, to assist Dumaresq and Diggings Rural Fire Service brigades with blazes at Hillgrove and Nowendoc.
“We all ended up going in different directions and came back together at night with all sorts of stories. At Nowendoc we fought fires for the first day and put it out and then spent the next two days blacking it out to extinguish anything smouldering and making sure it couldn’t restart,” said Year 11 student Treenie Osborne from Tamworth.
“We were safe but it was still a bushfire and it was incredible experience being part of a proper call-out to get the job done. It was very successful and gave us all a real insight into how fire control is managed – these were tiny fires compared to incidents such as Ash Wednesday and puts the incredible work done by rural fire fighters into perspective.
” While the Rural Fire students were tackling real blazes, members of the TAS cadet unit abseiled into a water-filled canyon, trekked dozens of kilometres in high humidity and ate military ration packs at Nymboida Canoe Centre. At Sawtell Surf Life Saving Club 21 Year 11 boys and girls achieved their surf bronze medallion, while other students took on a range of kayaking, cycling and trekking expeditions including a 70km coast walk from Angourie to Arrawarra.
TAS Headmaster Murray Guest said the huge logistical exercise covered a diverse range of activities that share the common ambition to challenge the school’s students in ways to show them that they are capable of more than they think possible.
“This is an ambition that this school has held dear throughout its history and it is every bit as important now as it was 100 years ago. This is why our Activities program has never been a voluntary exercise and why our staff give of their time and energy so generously to make it happen.”
For more information on this release contact Tim Hughes on 0409 662 420