Fire and Rescue NSW launch Pre-Incident Planning in Tea Gardens, Hawks Nest

Tea Gardens Fire and Rescue performed Pre-Incident Planning at Hawks Nest’s caravan parks.

FIRE and Rescue NSW Tea Gardens brigade has begun its local Pre-Incident Planning (PIP) campaign in and around Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest, visiting several sites already, with more to come.

“Anywhere there is a risk to our people when we respond to an incident, we go in now to assess and log dangers, such as flammable liquids, potential explosives, etc.,” Tea Gardens Fire and Rescue Captain Jim Wisemantel told NOTA.

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“We ask permission to go in, and have, so far, done Coles, the service station, the school and both caravan parks.”

The idea is as simple as it is life-saving – enter a given premises now, when things are fine, and take note of any and all identifiable hazards or risks so that firefighters are as informed as possible, should they have to respond to an emergency there.

Fire and Rescue keeps records so that their firefighters can know what to expect at a given location, and they are updated every twelve to eighteen months.

“This lets us know what to expect when we get there in an emergency, if we need to call for backup from Newcastle.

“Industrial areas, for example, can have tyres, oil, oxy acetylene tanks, compressed gases – all these things pose high risk, and may require hazmat or other specialised resources to be approached in a fire.

“There was a model of household washing machine a few years ago that happened to catch fire – there was a recall, but not everyone sees those.”

The location of a site’s electrical switchboard is also a necessary detail, as isolating it in the event of an emergency could save the life of a first-responder.

By law, certain types of premises must have a manifest out the front of their location, and Fire and Rescue NSW will keep similar information for reference in their vehicles.

Home safety visits (HSV) are also on the Fire and Rescue agenda.

“We can inspect a household for free, change the smoke alarms for free, and check fire safety plans,” explained Captain Wisemantel.

“Residences can request HSVs, and businesses can seek inspections, too.”

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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