Fire and Rescue NSW fire fighters train alongside Marine Rescue Port Macquarie crews in annual exercise

Port Macquarie’s Fire and Rescue fire fighters are getting a taste of saltwater, as around 25 personnel train with Marine Rescue Port Macquarie. The combined emergency services training will run in three phases after kicking off on July 1.

The next phase will involve Marine Rescue staff spending a day in the life of a firefighter. The final sessions will involve arranging both agencies to work as a team in training scenarios.

Fire and Rescue NSW duty commander Gaven Muller said permanent and on-call staff will undertake the training. “The purpose of the training is to familiarise ourselves with the equipment of both agencies,” said Mr Muller. “This allows us to have a smooth, cohesive response in an emergency situation and have those lines of communication open. We might utilise Marine Rescue for a boat fire or a structure fire on the canal if we can’t get to it or even to contain hazardous spills on the water.”

Mr Muller said the training is held annually to refresh new and returning staff. Marine Rescue Port Macquarie unit commander Greg Davies said it’s a great way to continue building a relationship with other emergency services.

“There’s a lot of benefits for us because Fire and Rescue have all of the equipment to fight fires on boats,” said Mr Davies. “They have HAZMAT gear and protections to board vessels to fight fires, we have fire fighting capability but we’re not fire fighters.”