Today I did my monthly shift with the NSW Rural Fire Service. Formerly a Fire Fighter, I was a Communications Centre Assistant and now I am a Communications Centre Supervisor which holds the rank of Deputy Captain.
When I am on duty, it is my job to run the Fire Communications Centre (Firecom for short) and supervise one or more Assistants. Also, it is up to me to decide which Fire appliances are sent to particular incidents depending on the size and type of fire, vehicle type, crew availability and more. I supervise my team and also do the work when required including answering telephone and radio calls, updating relevant staff and organisations when required, keeping the resource board and paperwork up to date, deal with public enquires and more.
On occasions apart from working in the Control Centre, sometimes I can work in a mobile communications bus at fires and other incident senses as well as community events.
I’ve been a member of the Service since 2002, initially starting as a Fire Fighter. I joined Comms in 2003 and have been there ever since. Since 2004 I have been solely a Comms member and have been responsible at different times for things including equipment, training and running meetings.
I really enjoy being a member of the service. Usually I am rostered for one shift a moment on a volunteer basis and attend meetings and training when I can. Now that fire season is days away, it is time for me to be ready for a busier time.
Speaking of busy, today was a busy day. I started at 9am and finished just after 5pm. During this time, I was supervising up to 3 people, training one person for half a day, took numerous telephone and radio calls and had 6 grass/bush fires of various sizes, 1 house fire and 1 persons trapped motor vehicle accident. In addition to this, there were several calls from people doing hazard reduction burns and a call from a lady wanting to know if they could have an open flamed BBQ.