Fireline Safety Training

The Challenge

Operating within a complex and evolving wildfire environment exposes fireline personnel to occupational risks.  Every wildfire season many responders are critically injured or killed during operations. Fireline Safety Training was required to target personnel in the following ways:

  • Reawaken the ever-present hazards; a reminder that no one is immune to accidents.
  • Be mindful of safety practices and don’t become complacent.
  • Understand how accidents occur; learn from others and recent incidents.
  • Ensure teams work with safety as a common goal.
  • Recognise & mitigate risks, maintain safe practices, reduce accidents & near misses.

The Western Cape Government has recognised this preventable risk and contracted Vulcan Wildfire Management to develop and present a Fireline Safety Training programme for all operational personnel responsible for wildland firefighting from the local fire services, Fire Protection Associations, landowners and volunteers.

The Solution

Fireline Safety Training presented by Vulcan offers participants an engaging environment in which they can take a fresh look at their approach to safety. The course offers a positive and neutral environment giving participants the confidence to reflect on their past experiences and help them look to future operations from a more informed position. The wildfire environment is dynamic and extremely challenging; Fireline Safety Training helps to heighten the approach to situational awareness and to be mindful of all aspects of safety impacting the individual and the team.

This must do Fireline Safety Training is required for all personnel participating in wildland firefighting and those who may be subject to assignments on or near the fireline. The intent of the training is to focus line-going, decision-making and support personnel on all issues related to fireline hazards and safety. This training is perfectly structured to form part of annual health and safety training as it ensures that participants have information regarding current initiatives, lessons learned from the past fire season and critical issues for the upcoming fire season.

 

"It could be your first fire; it could be years down the line… but what is guaranteed is that your training, experience and willpower will be tested"

 

Vulcan Wildfire Management

 

"Do accidents just happen? Or are there signs that were missed which could have prevented an accident?"

Vulcan Wildfire Management

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Time When Safety Matters

Hours awake before your responses are equivalent of somebody just over the drink-driving limit

If you apply them, they will save your life

Day Fireline Safety Training Course

Situational Awareness

This must be an on-going process of gathering information by observation and through communication with others. This information is gathered to create an individual’s picture of a given situation.

  • Weather Forecasts
  • Mission Objectives
  • Who is in charge?
  • How has the fire been behaving?
  • Local factors
  • Strategic plans

Making Decisions Mindful of Risks

Are controls in place for identified hazards?
NO – Reassess Situation
YES – Next Question

Are selected tactics based on expected fire behaviour?
NO – Reassess Situation
YES – Next Question

Have instructions been given and understood?
NO – Reassess Situation
YES – Proceed, maintaining situational awareness.

 

Future Fire Seasons – What can be expected?

  • Longer Fire Seasons.
  • The frequency of wildfires is likely to be high.
  • Increase in number of large wildfires
  • Wildfires in areas “Which don’t normally burn”
  • Increased risk to WUI and Rural Areas
  • Water limitations
  • Stretched resources
  • Extreme fire behaviour

What is a Great Fire Season?

  • No deaths or serious injuries.
  • Minimal impact on our family, friends and communities.
  • Minimal loss and destruction.
  • The least disruption to communities, farming and business.

Communication leads to connections, community and mutual value