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Bushre Fireghter

Reference Manual

SAFETY FIRST

Bushre Fireghter
Reference Manual
Bushre Fireghter brings together the reference materials needed by reghters to operate safely in a bushre environment. This reference manual supersedes and replaces the Wildre Fireghter, Edn 2 dated November 2006 learning manual. Extensive consultation has been undertaken between CFA and the Department of Sustainability and Environment to ensure that the mutual obligations identied under the existing multi-agency agreements are satised, and that joint re and incident operations occur in a seamless and efcient manner. Each agency will have certain organisational differences, where these occur, individuals should refer to and apply their agencys standard operating procedures and policies. CFA and DSE acknowledges the assistance of their members, volunteers and staff, for their valued contribution in the development of this reference manual.

Euan Ferguson Chief Ofcer CFA

Ewan Waller Chief Fire Ofcer DSE

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SAFETY FIRST

The map extracts on pages 188, 190 and 191 are Copyright Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia) 2010. They are available under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence (see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/ for details).

Disclaimer
This publication may be of assistance to you but the State of Victoria and its employees do not guarantee that the publication is without aw of any kind or is wholly appropriate for your particular purposes and therefore disclaims all liability for any error, loss or other consequence which may arise from you relying on any information in this publication.

First published February 2011 in Australia by Learning Systems, Operational Training & Volunteerism, CFA Headquarters, 8 Lakeside Drive, Burwood East, Victoria 3151. CFA and DSE 2011. Other than that permitted under the Copyright Act t 1968, no part of this publication may be reproduced by any means without written permission from the Country Fire Authority Victoria. Enquiries should be addressed to the publisher. For any matters relating to this publication, contact: Manager Learning Systems, Operational Training & Volunteerism, CFA Headquarters, 8 Lakeside Drive, Burwood East, Victoria 3151.

SAFETY FIRST

Contents
Overview ...................................................................................................................................1
Introduction ...............................................................................................................................................1 Relationship to Competency Standards ...................................................................................................1 Pre/Co-requisites ......................................................................................................................................1 Outcomes .................................................................................................................................................1 Related Resources ...................................................................................................................................2 How You Might be Assessed ....................................................................................................................2

Chapter 1: Safety on the Fireground.......................................................................................3


Introduction ...............................................................................................................................................3 Safe Person Approach ..............................................................................................................................4 Risk Management .....................................................................................................................................7 Dynamic Risk Assessment .......................................................................................................................8 Dynamic Assessment of Risk ................................................................................................................. 14 Personal Protective Clothing .................................................................................................................. 14 Personal Protective Equipment ..............................................................................................................19 Specialist Protective Clothing and Equipment .......................................................................................23 Hazards Related to Bushre ...................................................................................................................24 Working Around Aircraft ..........................................................................................................................38 General Health ........................................................................................................................................43 Managing Stress Levels..........................................................................................................................44 Managing Psychological Conditions ......................................................................................................46 General Health Hazards .........................................................................................................................47 Heat Related Illnesses ........................................................................................................................... 51 Fireline Safety..........................................................................................................................................56 Taking Refuge in Life Threatening Situations .........................................................................................60 Injury and Near Miss Reporting ..............................................................................................................65 Summary .................................................................................................................................................67

Chapter 2: Fire Science .........................................................................................................77


Combustion (Fire) ...................................................................................................................................77 Heat Transfer ...........................................................................................................................................78 Fire Intensity ............................................................................................................................................80 Methods of Extinguishment ....................................................................................................................81 Summary .................................................................................................................................................83

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Chapter 3: Bushre Behaviour ..............................................................................................85


Fuel..........................................................................................................................................................85 Weather ...................................................................................................................................................87 Topography .............................................................................................................................................90 Summary .................................................................................................................................................93

Chapter 4: Bushre Development .........................................................................................95


Types of Bushre ....................................................................................................................................95 Parts of a Bushre ..................................................................................................................................97 Summary .................................................................................................................................................99

Chapter 5: Hand Tools ......................................................................................................... 101


General Hand Tool Safety ..................................................................................................................... 101 Common Hand Tools and Their Use ....................................................................................................102 Summary ............................................................................................................................................... 111

Chapter 6: Hose and Fittings .............................................................................................. 113


Hose Couplings .................................................................................................................................... 113 Adaptors ................................................................................................................................................ 115 Branches and Nozzles .......................................................................................................................... 115 Breechings............................................................................................................................................ 115 Hose Types ........................................................................................................................................... 117 Hose Care ............................................................................................................................................. 121 Bowling/Rolling Hose ........................................................................................................................... 122 Hose After Use Maintenance ................................................................................................................ 124 Hose Stowage ...................................................................................................................................... 124 Hose Reels............................................................................................................................................ 125 Summary ............................................................................................................................................... 127

Chapter 7: Bushre Extinguishing Media ........................................................................... 129


Extinguishing Media .............................................................................................................................129 Water Supplies ......................................................................................................................................130 Applying Water ......................................................................................................................................134 Fire Retardants ...................................................................................................................................... 137 Wetting Agents ...................................................................................................................................... 141 Summary ...............................................................................................................................................143

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Contents

Chapter 8: Pump Operation................................................................................................. 145


Pumps and Pumping Operations ......................................................................................................... 145 Types of Pumps .................................................................................................................................... 145 Pumping Operations ............................................................................................................................. 148 Water Relays .........................................................................................................................................150 Hose Lay ............................................................................................................................................... 151 Summary ...............................................................................................................................................153

Chapter 9: Radio Communication ....................................................................................... 155


Principles of Radio Communication ....................................................................................................155 Call Signs ..............................................................................................................................................164 Radio Procedures .................................................................................................................................164 Receiving and Transmitting Messages ................................................................................................167 Operational Procedures (CFA) ............................................................................................................. 170 Emergency Transmissions ................................................................................................................... 172 Summary ............................................................................................................................................... 175

Chapter 10: Preparing for Response to Bushre ............................................................... 177


Personal Preparation ............................................................................................................................177 Call Outs ...............................................................................................................................................177 Pre-departure Checks .......................................................................................................................... 178 Locating the Fire ................................................................................................................................... 179 Map Reading ........................................................................................................................................ 181 Summary ...............................................................................................................................................195

Chapter 11: Proceeding to the Fire ..................................................................................... 197


Initial Observations .............................................................................................................................. 197 Conrm and Report Fire Location ........................................................................................................198 Evidence of Fire Cause .........................................................................................................................198 Summary ...............................................................................................................................................199

Chapter 12: Combating the Bushre ..................................................................................201


Teamwork and Fireghting ...................................................................................................................201 Briengs ...............................................................................................................................................202 Command and Communications ..........................................................................................................203 Assessing Fire Conditions ....................................................................................................................207 Fireghting Strategies and Tactics .......................................................................................................208 Built Asset Protection............................................................................................................................ 213 Mineral Earth Control Line .................................................................................................................... 218 Mopping Up/Blacking Out Operations ................................................................................................. 218 Summary ...............................................................................................................................................223
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Contents

Glossary ...............................................................................................................................227 Abbreviations and Acronyms ..............................................................................................235

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Overview
Introduction
Bushres are inherently dangerous. Therefore, it is essential that personnel involved in bushre reghting activities are competent to work safely, effectively and efciently. Personnel who are not competent present a danger to themselves, their crew and other reghters working around them. This manual is designed to support bushre reghter training and will provide you with the skills, knowledge and procedures to follow when participating in a bushre reght. The manual contains information about:
F maintaining safety on the reground; F personal protective clothing and

Relationship to Competency Standards


This material is based on the following units of competency in the Public Safety Training Package July 2000 Ver. 8.00:
F PUAFIR201 Prevent injury; F PUAOHS002 Maintain safety at an

incident scene;
F PUAFIR204 Respond to wildre; F PUAFIR309 Operate pumps; F PUAOPE002 Operate communications

systems and equipment; and


F PUATEA001 Work in a team.

equipment used in bushre reghting;


F re science; F bushre behaviour and development; F hand tools, hoses, ttings and other

Pre/Co-requisites
F Nil.

Outcomes
On successful completion of the Bushre Fireghter training program, you will be able to:
F identify and manage workplace hazards

equipment used in bushre reghting;


F extinguishing media and their application; F pump operation; F communications on the reground; F map reading; and F responding to and combating a bushre.

and risks in the workplace;


F contribute to maintaining safety of self and

workgroup members;
F prepare for and respond to a bushre; F use communication systems and

This manual also contains a glossary (a list of terms, abbreviation and acronyms used in this manual and their meanings).

equipment to transmit and receive messages;

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Overview

F report faulty equipment; F obtain and use extinguishing media and

How You Might be Assessed


Below are some ideas of how a qualied assessor might assess your competence in this unit. You may be assessed by:
F observation in a practical situation; F answering questions or demonstrating

equipment;
F prepare, operate and conclude pump

operations;
F combat a bushre; F observe and react to a bushre and local

weather conditions;
F participate in blackout and patrol activities; F assist in ancillary activities; F recover, maintain and store equipment; F contribute to team activities and share

knowledge and skill in a given situation;


F written form; and/or F a combination of the above.

knowledge and information; and


F give and receive support to and from team

During the assessment, you may be asked to:


F use hand tools and other equipment to

members.

construct a mineral earth control line;


F assess a scene and identify hazards;

Related Resources
Further resources may be developed to support your learning. To identify the resources available, CFA members should search the Bookshelf on CFAs Brigades Online website using the title and key terms from this publication. https://cfaonline.cfa.vic.gov.au The Bookshelf also contains the current CFA policies and procedures. Familiarity with these will enable you to appropriately apply your learning. DSE personnel should refer to their Area Fire Training Coordinator or FireWeb.

F operate pumps on a tanker, slip-on or

quickll to ll tanks or draft water, to deliver water to a branch;


F use appropriate tactics and techniques

(as described in this reference manual) to extinguish re;


F use radio equipment to send and receive

messages; and
F participate in an operational debrief.

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Chapter 1 Safety on the Fireground


Inherent dangers exist in any workplace. Some workplaces, such as incident scenes, are more dangerous than others and it can be difcult to make them safe. In these environments, reghter safety must take priority y over all other re suppression activities. This chapter covers: F introduction to safety on the reground; F safe person approach; F risk management; F dynamic risk assessment; F dynamic assessment of risk; F personal protective clothing and equipment; F specialist protective equipment; F hazards related to bushre; F working around aircraft; F general health; F managing stress levels; F managing psychological conditions; F general health hazards; F heat related illnesses; F reline safety; and F taking refuge in life threatening situations.

Introduction
Safety is the top priority. Safety needs to be a priority for you as much as anyone else. Your organisation:
F will not knowingly send you into a situation

F will not ask you to stay in situations if it

knows if it is unsafe;
F wants you to be constantly aware of

the safety of yourself and your work mates; and


F wants you to let it know if you believe your

where the risks to personal safety cannot be managed;

safety is being threatened.

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People who are committed to safety will supervise you. There are two components to managing safety during an emergency. The rst component is the Safe Person Approach (SPA). The second component deals with assessing risk. CFA refers to this component as Dynamic Risk Assessment (DRA), while DSE refers to it as a dynamic assessment of risk. When Safe Person Approach (SPA) is combined with Dynamic Risk Assessment (DRA), they are known by the acronym SPADRA. In normal safety management, the intent is to make the workplace safe, as this safeguards everyone. An operational incident scene can be an inherently dangerous workplace and is often difcult to make completely safe.

Safe Person Approach


As well as ensuring equipment design and quality is to the highest standard, we must also direct our efforts to making all reghters safe. This is known as the Safe Person Approach (SPA). Safe Person Approach species that both the organisation and individuals present on scene will assume the relevant responsibilities to ensure the safety of personnel is maintained at all times. There are two elements to the Safe Person Approach. These are:
F responsibility the organisation has to its

personnel; and
F responsibility that each individual has to

the organisation, themselves and those around them.

Organisational responsibilities
The organisation has a responsibility to provide, as much as is reasonably practicable, an environment that ensures personnel are able to remain safe at all times. Organisational responsibilities include:
F selection of personnel right person for the

Shared nature of responsibility for safety


Organisations, and individuals working within organisations, share responsibility for creating and maintaining a safe workplace. Safe Person Approach is used to identify the shared nature of responsibility for safety.

right job;
F provision and use of risk information such

as Safety First Alerts;


F provision of personal protective

clothing and equipment such as boots, overtrousers, turnout coats, helmets, gloves and goggles;
F provision of portable equipment

and appliances;

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F safety procedures and systems of work

F capable of performing the tasks assigned; F an effective member of the team; F adaptable to changing circumstances; F vigilant for his or her own safety and the

Fire Ground Practices (FGPs), Chief Ofcers Standing Orders (SOs), Chief Ofcers Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and OH&S policy and legislation;
F effective instruction; F training to achieve competence; F competent supervision; and F performance measurement

safety of their colleagues and others; and


F able to recognise and express his or her

own limitations.

1 6
Recognise own abilities and limitations

Competent for assigned tasks

safety auditing.

1 9 8 7
Performance measurement

Selection of personnel

Effective member of a team

Provision of risk information

Competent supervision

3 4
Effective instruction

Personal protective clothing and equipment

safety and 5 own that of others

Vigilant for

3 4
Adaptable to changing circumstances

Work within accepted guidelines

Training to achieve competence

Provision and use of equipment

Safety procedures systems, OH&S policy & legislation

Figure 2 personal responsibilities

Figure 1 organisational responsibilities

Safety is empowered to every individual


Each person has a responsibility for ensuring that their work practices do not result in an unacceptable level of risk to themselves or to others around them. Responsibility for safety is empowered to every individual. You should report all accidents and near misses, and raise safety issues with your supervisor at the earliest opportunity. Doing so may prevent someone from suffering serious injury or even death at some time in the future. Remember: ALWAYS follow safe work practices and challenge those who do not.

Personal responsibilities
Each individual must accept responsibility for his or her own safety. He or she must make informed decisions about the appropriate use of available resources, to ensure that the control of risks is effective at all times. Every person must have the self-discipline to work within accepted guidelines and be:
F able to implement knowledge and skills

acquired through training to recognise hazards and implement appropriate controls to minimise risk to themselves and others;

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The workplace
The workplace for the purposes of health and safety is anywhere that you are operating as a member of your organisation; this includes both staff and volunteers. An emergency can add an extra level of risk to your normal workplace, including extra trafc, more people and equipment and an increased level of urgency.

Some workplaces, such as incident scenes or regrounds, will always present a greater risk to individuals. The level of supervision and risk management needs to reect the current and potential situation. Figure 3 shows examples of workplaces. During an emergency the risks in a workplace may change as different functions are performed.

Normal workplaces

Changed risk in the workplaces

Normal ofce

Normal ofce now Incident Control Centre

Fire station

Operations Point

District Mechanical Ofcer workshop

District Mechanical Ofcers now working at a Staging Area

Figure 3 risks in a workplace may change as different functions are performed

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Risk Management
Fireghting is inherently dangerous and regardless of what systems or controls are put in place, reghters will still face hazards. In order to maintain your safety and contribute to the safety of those around you, reground hazards need to be identied, risks need to be assessed and decisions made according to what is occurring. Experienced reghters will make judgements based on their knowledge, skills, training and experience.

At incidents the Incident Controller assisted by a Safety Ofcer or Field Safety Advisor, if appointed will identify hazards, assesses the risks and makes decisions about managing the overall risks of the incident. Individual reghters who are working on the reground may be confronted by changing situations and should continually monitor the environment to identify the hazards and assess the risks as they apply to the tasks they are carrying out.

Risk Management

Fireghter

Crew Leader

Strike Team Leader

Figure 4 risk management involves all levels of reghters

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Dynamic Risk Assessment


Dynamic Risk Assessment (DRA) is a process used in CFA. Unlike normal workplaces, the reground often presents situations where risks are greater than normal due to the fact that emergency operations are dynamic and unpredictable. Accidents are more likely to happen when people are busy, distracted or rushing to complete a task and do not take the time to consider the consequences of their actions. In these situations, the Dynamic Risk Assessment process forms the basis for successfully managing the health and safety of all personnel up and down the chain of command. Dynamic risk assessment is for use in constantly changing situations. In everyday life these situations may be encountered while crossing a busy trafc intersection; while driving on a highway; or while moving around in crowded areas like the Footy Grand Final, amusement parks, concert events or country fairs. In all of these situations we are constantly assessing risks and making decisions that govern our actions, often without consciously thinking about how we do it.

Fireghters are likely to encounter constantly changing situations while attending incident scenes or working on the reground. In these situations you can carry out a dynamic risk assessment by asking yourself ve simple questions. The answers will help you to assess whether your intended actions can be safely undertaken. Dynamic Risk Assessment is a thinking activity one that you can do in your head. Dynamic Risk Assessment should be used at an incident scene or reground:
F when approaching a dynamic situation; F while on scene; and F as you are departing the scene.

Five step model for Dynamic Risk Assessment


Dynamic Risk Assessment is a simple ve step risk assessment process by which hazards are identied and judgements to control or eliminate risks are rated as:
F acceptable or unacceptable; and F in proportion to the benets we hope to

gain by our action.

1
HAZARDS START What is going on and what are the hazards?

2
PLAN What do I plan to do?

3
RISKS What are the risks of what I plan to do?

4
SAFETY What can I do to make it safe?

5
MONITORING What do I need to monitor?

Figure 5 ve step model for dynamic risk assessment

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Step 1 What is going on and what are the hazards?


Take a moment to look around and observe what is happening. Note any obvious hazards or circumstances that might lead to new hazards. See Hazards Related to Bushre later in this chapter for more information on identifying known hazards on the reground.

Remember: Dynamic Risk Assessment is not meant to be a complicated exercise but rather a basic process in which you identify risks and classify them based on the likelihood and consequences of their occurrence. Based on that classication, you then make decisions about your own actions.

Assessing the level of risk


When assessing the risk associated with your planned actions you should start by considering likelihood versus consequence and then determine the level of risk involved.

Step 2 What do I plan to do?


Think carefully about what it is you intend doing. Consider what actions you will carry out.

Step 3 What are the risks of what I plan to do?


Will your actions expose you to any of the hazards you have identied in step 1, and if so, what level of risk is involved? Will your actions expose you, or others working with you, to an unacceptable level of risk? See Assessing the level of risk.

Likelihood
Likelihood is about how sure we are that a risk event will happen. LIKELIHOOD DESCRIPTOR Certain Very Likely Unlikely DESCRIPTION Will happen Will probably happen Could happen at some time Could only happen in exceptional circumstances

Step 4 What can I do to make it safer?


If your actions are likely to expose you, others working around you, or property to an unacceptable level of risk you must consider the introduction of controls. If you cannot reduce identied risks to an acceptable level you will need to change your planned actions.

Rare

Step 5 What do I need to monitor?


Remain alert to what is happening around you. As the situation changes, re-evaluate your actions. Are there new hazards? Has the level of risk changed? Go back to step 1 and repeat the Dynamic Risk Assessment process.
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Likelihood, on its own, is not sufcient to assess the overall level of risk. So we also need to consider consequence that might result from each of likelihood descriptors.

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Consequence
Consequence is about the effect or outcome that the risk event can have on personnel or property. CONSEQUENCE DESCRIPTOR DESCRIPTION Death; multiple/ extensive injuries; severe loss of operational capability. Loss of consciousness; injuries requiring time off work; loss of signicant equipment time lost. Injuries requiring rst aid and medical follow up; repair to equipment required may result in lost time. Minor injuries requiring on scene rst aid; minor equipment loss/ damage no time lost.

Level of risk
Level of risk is a measure derived from the likelihood of a risk event happening and the consequence that would result from that event. The level of risk will determine the actions that should be taken. LEVEL OF RISK CODE E DESCRIPTOR Extreme DESCRIPTION Do not proceed; alternative tactics required. Close supervision/ backup required. Normal procedures should sufce. Monitor for escalation.

Catastrophic

Major

High

Medium

Moderate

Low

Insignicant

Once you have identied the level of risk, you will need to consider what controls are needed to eliminate the risk or reduce the risk to an acceptable level.

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Risk assessment matrix


The risk assessment matrix combines the level of risk and the consequence into a single table. It is a useful tool for evaluating the level of risk associated with your planned actions. It will help you to determine the control actions that should be considered and whether an alternative plan of action is needed. The matrix (Figure 6) is largely self explanatory. When carrying out a risk assessment you need to look at the situation in context; when determining the consequence the worst case scenario is not always the most appropriate way of looking at a situation. Consider the following example. You may say that the likelihood of a hose bursting at a re would be regarded as rare.

But should it burst, the consequence might well be catastrophic. Taken together the overall risk would be assessed as high. Appropriate controls would be to have a backup hose in place and maintain close supervision of the situation. When assessing the level of risk you should consider what is actually going on and what are the hazards (Dynamic Risk Assessment Step 1) as different scenarios may produce different outcomes. Over the page we will look at the same situation (hose burst) but with two different scenarios:
F Scenario 1 roadside rest area rubbish

bin re; and


F Scenario 2 going grass re with ame

height of 2 3 metres.

CONSEQUENCE LIKELIHOOD Certain Very Likely Unlikely Rare E H M L Catastrophic E E H H Major E H H M Moderate H H M M Insignicant M M L L

EXTREME: Do NOT proceed/alternate tactics required. HIGH: Close supervision/backup required. MEDIUM: Normal procedures should sufce. LOW: Monitor for escalation.
Figure 6 risk assessment matrix

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Scenario 1: Roadside rest area rubbish bin re.


What would be the level of risk that reghters are exposed to at a roadside rest area rubbish bin re should their hose burst? Using the risk assessment matrix, the likelihood of a hose bursting could be seen as rare and in this situation as there are no obvious risks to reghters the consequence is insignicant, therefore you would assess the risk as low. In situations where risk is assessed as low w you should monitor for any escalation in the situation. CONSEQUENCE LIKELIHOOD Certain Very Likely Unlikely Rare Catastrophic E E H H Major E H H M Moderate H H M M Insignicant M M L L

Figure 7 Scenario 1: hose burst at roadside rest area rubbish bin re

Scenario 2: Going grass re with ame height of 23 metres.


What would be the level of risk that reghters are exposed to should a hose burst in a going grass re with a ame height of 2 3 metres? Using the risk assessment matrix, the likelihood of a hose bursting could be seen as rare (the same as in Scenario 1) the consequence may however be catastrophic. In this situation the risk associated with a the hose bursting is identied as high. In situations where risk has been assessed as high, we should supervise closely and back up equipment/personnel. This could mean the use of a second hose line. CONSEQUENCE LIKELIHOOD Certain Very Likely Unlikely Rare E E H H Major E H H M Moderate H H M M Insignicant M M L L

Figure 8 Scenario 2: hose burst in a going grass re with ame height of 23 metres

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Contingency plans
Appropriate levels of contingency can usually be arrived at by What if? we could... thinking. What if? What if the hose line burst? Those on the end of the hose line could be burnt. What if the pump stopped? Those on the end of the hose could be burnt. We could We could put in a second (backup) line.

SPADRA
The application of the safe person approach and the use of dynamic risk assessment may be referred to by the acronym SPADRA.

Safe Person Approach

Dynamic Risk Assessment

We could put in a second pump and use its line for the back-up line.

SPADRA
Figure 9 SPADRA

REMEMBER: you must continually evaluate your environment using the dynamic risk assessment model.

Safety First approach


Fireghter safety must be given priority over all other re suppression considerations and activities. When working at an incident, you must avoid putting yourself at risk. By adopting the Safe Person Approach and using the ve step Dynamic Risk Assessment process you can minimise the risk of injury to self and others.

To ensure their effectiveness we need to understand when SPADRA should be used.


F The safe person approach must be

practised at all times regardless of our activities.


F The dynamic risk assessment is for use

in situations that are constantly changing such as re and incident operations.

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Chapter 1: Safety on the Fireground

Dynamic Assessment of Risk


This process is followed in DSE. Throughout this manual reference is made to eliminating or reducing risk associated with hazards. Assessing risk and implementing controls can prevent or minimise your chance of death, injury or illness. The process means you identify the hazards and assess the risk that hazard poses to your safety and the likelihood of it actually occurring. Assessing the risk associated with identied hazards should involve thinking about:
F the likelihood of harm occurring; F how often you are exposed to a hazard; F the possible consequences of

Personal Protective Clothing


CFA and DSE have policies and procedures covering the provision, specications and requirements during reghting for personal protective clothing (PPC). For example, CFA has Chief Ofcers Standing Orders (SOs), Chief Ofcers Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and policies for the correct use of equipment, type of, and the wearing of, protective clothing. It is important that you know, understand and follow your agencys procedures.

Overalls and bushre jacket with overtrousers


The two types of personal protective clothing in use are the one piece overall and the two piece ensemble, consisting of a jacket and overtrousers.

exposure; and
F whether there are regulations related to

the hazard. This process allows you to decide if the hazard has an acceptable level of risk, or if you need to do something to reduce the risk level. On the reground you will be required to constantly monitor the changing conditions and perform a dynamic assessment of the risk, utilising your knowledge and understanding of reground hazards including, reghter WATCHOUTS and LACES.

DSE overalls

CFA jacket and overtrousers

Figure 10 bushre personal protective clothing

They are worn to protect against:


F radiant heat; F minor burns; F sunburn; F abrasion; F lacerations;
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F hot embers; and F risk of injury from vehicles or machinery in

poor visibility. They are made from a lightweight cotton fabric which has been treated with a ame retardant preparation (PROBAN). The fabric is brightly coloured and has reective strips for increased visibility. They are designed to be, and intended to be worn, loose tting to allow maximum freedom of movement and to ensure sufcient airow to aid cooling. It is important in bushre reghting to minimise the build up of body heat. Sleeves must be rolled down and front studs closed when working close to a re. They also have a large collar, which may be drawn up to protect the neck, lower head and ears. Closures at the wrist and ankle, when worn correctly, provide protection against embers and radiant heat. Both variations are designed to be worn over minimal under garments. For example, Polo-shirts, shorts and cotton or lightweight woollen trousers are the normal under garment combination. It is important to keep undergarments as light and loose tting as possible, again to ensure sufcient airow to aid cooling. Your personal protective clothing provides the primary protection against risks to life in a burnover situation. Secondary measures such as heat shielding, protective blankets and/or water sprays also assist in performing this function.

Note: do not under any circumstances take off protective clothing in an attempt to cool down when working at a bushre. Only when in a safe area should you unbutton cuffs, underarm side vents, overall front or remove jacket.

Care and maintenance


All bleaches and some detergents will deteriorate the ame-retardant treatment. You should refer to Standard Operating Procedures and the garment label for further information on correct washing and care instructions. Damaged or worn out clothing should be replaced.

Structural Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment


The structural reghting ensemble is not to be worn at a bushre as the thermal properties of the material used to manufacture them prevent adequate cooling for the conditions you will encounter at a bushre.

Figure 11 structural clothing unsuitable for bushre

Alternatively, bushre protective clothing does not provide sufcient protection for offensive structural reghting. However, if a structural turnout coat is taken to a grass or bush re, it may be worn to keep warm at night.

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Chapter 1: Safety on the Fireground

Note: bushre jackets are only to be worn with bushre over trousers. Combinations of bushre and structural personal protective clothing and equipment are not to be worn.

Helmets
There are different types of reghting helmets; those designed specically for bushre reghting, and those for structural reghting. A helmet protects your head from:
F radiant heat; F high temperatures; F ash and embers; F impact and puncture injuries; for example,

falling tree limbs or rocks;


F splash from Class A foam, wetting agents

and chemicals (retardants);


Structural

F being struck by hand tools; F contact with electrical hazards; and F steam or scalding water created

by reghting.

Features and differences


F Bushre helmets are lighter than

structural helmets;
F both helmets can be tted with a

headlamp;
CFA bushre

F CFA helmets are tted with a neck and ear

protection ap. DSE helmets can be tted with neckaps, hearing and eye protection as required;
F both helmets have brims to direct water

and embers away from the neck the brim on a bushre helmet is smaller than that on a structural helmet;
F structural helmets have a face shield to

protect the eyes and face from ying objects and radiant heat;
DSE bushre

Figure 12 structural (unsuitable for bushre) and bushre helmets (CFA and DSE)

F structural helmets have high impact

strength due to the combined inner and outer shell construction; and
F both helmets have a reective strip to

increase visibility of the wearer.

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Note: hazards faced in a bushre environment differ considerably from those in a structural environment. Therefore, you must wear only the appropriate and approved helmet, relevant to the task while working at an incident or re. Structural helmets, due to the extra weight, should not be worn for long periods or at a bushre.

As a guideline:
F apply only approved adhesives or stickers

to the helmet shell;


F remove dirt, oil and chemical residue

from helmets as soon as possible with warm soapy water do not use abrasives or solvents;
F regularly inspect the inner head harness

Fitting of helmets
For CFA members chinstraps on all types of helmets must be worn to ensure that the helmet remains in the correct position. The inner harness should be adjusted to ensure a correct and comfortable t on the head. CFA members should wear the neck and ear protection aps at all times on the reground. DSE reghters should refer to the Information pages on FireWeb. CFA bushre helmet inserts are available in three sizes:
F normal; F small; and F extra small.

and helmets for cracks or damage and replace the components or helmets that are damaged;
F store helmets out of direct sunlight

as ultra violet light can deteriorate them structurally;


F do not use helmets as seats; and F do not drop or throw helmets.

Boots
There are different types of boots designed for reghting. As stated previously, hazards faced in a bushre environment differ considerably from those in a structural environment. Therefore, you must only wear appropriate and approved boots while working at an incident or re.

Adjustment of the head strap length and the front and rear headbands should accommodate all head sizes. CFA members must not wear helmets while in the cabin of a vehicle or while travelling in the roll over protection system (ROPs) en route or from a re as they may contribute to neck injury. They are to be securely stowed when travelling.

Care and maintenance


You are to maintain your helmet in accordance with the manufacturers instructions.
Figure 13 bushre boot (left) and bushre/structural boot

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Bushre boots are suitable for bushre reghting; structural GP leather boots are suitable for both structural and bushre reghting. Boots are designed to:
F protect your feet from:

Gloves
Another important item of protective clothing is gloves. When correctly tted, gloves approved for use in reghting offer levels of performance consistent with that of other protective garments worn. There are two types of gloves commonly used:
F bushre reghting gloves provide a

some chemicals; radiant heat; burning embers and hot coals; impact by heavy objects, the boots have steel toe caps; and sharp objects, cuts and abrasions;
F increase your grip on wet and

level of performance based on bushre personal protective clothing requirements identied earlier in this chapter; and

oily surfaces;
F keep your feet dry; and F provide support for the foot and ankle.

Fireghting boots have heat resistant soles, are made of leather, have a high lace up and have a safety toe cap. You should ensure you have the correct size and that they are comfortable. It is advisable to break in new boots prior to wearing them on the reground.

Figure 14 bushre reghting gloves

Care and maintenance


Boots should be cared for and maintained in accordance with the manufacturers instructions. As a guideline, leather boots should be cleaned and polished regularly to maintain their waterproong, particularly if working around Class A foam solution and wetting agents. Damaged or worn out boots should be replaced.

F structural reghting gloves provide an

intermediate level of performance with higher levels of thermal and heat transfer protection than bushre gloves. Both types of gloves feature an all leather construction with an extended wrist cuff.

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Gloves are used for a range of purposes, including to:


F protect the hands from abrasions,

Personal Protective Equipment


Along with protective clothing, there is a range of personal protective equipment (PPE) used by reghters offering:
F respiratory protection; F eye protection; and F hearing protection.

cuts, wounds, burn injuries, splinters and blisters;


F prevent the risk of cross infection when

handling casualties (if double gloved using a nitrile glove on the inside);
F reduce exposure when handling foam

solution or other reghting chemicals;


F increase grip; F protect against heat; and F provide protection to the wrist.

Respiratory protection
Respiratory protection against atmospheric contaminants (particulates) at bushres can be provided by wearing an approved particulate lter mask which remove contaminants from the air that you breath.

Gloves for other specialist applications (not to be used for bushre reghting) include:
F heavy rescue anti-cut Kevlar knitted; F medical response nitrile; F chemical splash suit PVC; and F foam concentrate handling neoprene

Particulate lter masks


P2 particulate lter masks should be worn when working to prevent the inhalation of particulates contained in dust, exhaust fumes and smoke. Fireghters may suffer irritation to the respiratory tract as a result of exposure to airborne particles and need to leave the area to recover in fresh air. Particulate lter masks, rated as Class P2, can be relied on to provide reasonable protection to the nose, throat and lungs from:
F ash; and F larger airborne particles that may be

or nitrile. Note: gloves must be appropriate for their intended use and correctly tted.

Care and maintenance


Gloves should be cleaned according to the manufacturers instructions. Gloves contaminated with chemicals or biological waste should be disposed of, or decontaminated, in accordance with agency policy and procedures. Damaged or wornout gloves should be replaced.

present in smoke.

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Figure 16 P2 nuisance level organic vapour respirator (non cartridge type)

Figure 15 P2 particulate lter mask with exhalation valve

P2 nuisance level organic vapour respirators


Fireghters should refer to their agencys procedures for the use of these respirators. A P2 nuisance level organic vapour respirator is to be used when decanting Class A foam concentrate to prevent the inhalation of vapours. It must be correctly tted and adjusted to ensure a tight seal. Note: this respirator must not be used when reghting.

When using these masks, some discomfort associated with sweating and inhaling warm exhaled air may be experienced, therefore, only wear them when required. Seek advice from your Crew Leader.

Care and maintenance


P2 particulate lter masks are disposable and should be replaced when breathing becomes restricted or for reasons of general hygiene.

Care and maintenance


Class A concentrate decanting kits (containing a P2 nuisance level organic vapour respirator) are to be stowed on your CFA appliance (where tted) in the container provided. Respirators are to be replaced as per the manufacturers recommendations. Note: particulate lter masks and P2 nuisance level organic vapour respirators are not to be used in an oxygen decient atmosphere.

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Eye protection
There are several types of eye protection available to reghters including:
F bushre/smoke goggles;

Figure 17 typical bushre/smoke goggles

F vented goggles; F helmet face visor; F safety goggles that are fully sealed around

Figure 18 goggles correctly placed into head harness for wearing

the face, used when handling Class A foam concentrate; and


F safety glasses with impact resistant

lenses with or without side shields and UV lenses tted. In a bushre situation, bushre/smoke goggles offer the best protection. They have impact and heat resistant lenses, exclude airborne particles and can be worn over glasses. There are oversize goggles available use with prescription glasses. Eye protection is worn to prevent eye injuries and irritation, and the resulting impediment to your vision, from:
F impacts, for example, small branches and

Figure 19 goggles correctly placed on helmet for stowage

F airborne particles, for example, smoke,

ash, dust and hot embers;


F heat; F water and chemical splashes; and F UV damage.

hand tools;

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When wearing any type of eye protection, it must be appropriate for its intended use and correctly tted in accordance with your agencys procedures. Note: in Figure 18, the neck ap has been removed from the helmet for illustrative purposes only.

F hearing protection is designed to suit

different noise levels and types; you must ensure that the correct hearing protection is used for a specic hazard.

Care and maintenance


Hearing protection is to be used, maintained, repaired and replaced according to the manufacturers instructions.

Care and maintenance


Eye protection should be maintained, repaired and replaced according to the manufacturers instructions.

Limitation of bushre protective clothing and equipment


All protective clothing will have limitations at some point. It must be understood that wearing protective clothing does not make a reghter invincible. Bushre personal protective clothing and equipment is designed to offer some protection against the hazards experienced at a bushre. It offers some protection against radiant heat, embers and smoke. It offers little or no protection against concentrated acids, alkalis, gamma and x-ray radiation, explosive or cryogenic materials. In these situations the best option is to keep unprotected personnel at a safe distance from these hazardous materials.

Hearing protection
Equipment and machinery such as chainsaws, pumps, vehicles and aircraft used during reghting can be noisy. Hearing protection, such as earmuffs or earplugs, must be worn when operating or when working near such equipment, particularly for long periods of time. The best form of hearing protection is to move away from the noise remove ear protection as soon as practicable. You should be aware of the following:
F ear protection must be compatible with

eye and head protection equipment so that it does not impede functionality;
F it can be difcult to hear instructions,

warnings and radio messages when wearing ear protection;


F you can become isolated from what is

going on around you stay alert and look for visual signals; and

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Specialist Protective Clothing and Equipment


A range of personal protective clothing is made available to reghters who have been trained to work in hazardous environments where normal reghting turn out gear offers little protection. This specialist personal protective clothing and equipment may include:
F positive pressure breathing apparatus

Appliance safety equipment


Tankers are tted with a number of safety features and items of equipment. You should familiarise yourself with those applicable to your tanker/slip-on. Things to look for include:
F seat belts; F roll over protection system (ROPS); F roll down crew protection curtains; F re blankets; F intercom system; F heat shielding; F diesel powered pump and truck engines; F hose; F fog nozzles; F front sprays; F crew/vehicle protection spray system; and F low water alert system and water level

(BA) protects the wearer against inhaling contaminated air;


F chemical splash suits protect the

wearer against chemical liquid splashes, hazardous dust or dirty environments and Alpha radiation; and
F encapsulated gas suits provide the

highest level of protection for the wearer against chemical liquid splashes and harmful gases and vapours. Certain substances and/or chemicals can damage or penetrate even this specialist equipment so it is critical that any protective equipment is identied as suitable for use in the environment in which the wearer will be working.

sight tube. Note: you should constantly monitor water level prior to, and during, all re suppression and mopping up activities to ensure reserve water level is maintained for crew protection.

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Hazards Related to Bushre


Along with the more obvious hazards you may face at a bushre, such as heat and smoke, there are other, perhaps less obvious, hazards you need to be aware of.

Precautions
When lifting or moving loads, you should try to:
F keep your nose, knees and toes in line; F handle loads close to and directly in front

Lifting or moving heavy objects


Fireghting activities often involve lifting or moving heavy equipment or objects (tasks referred to as manual handling). The weight and shape of equipment or objects such as branches and logs may make them more hazardous to lift or move. Risk factors associated with manual handling can include:
F posture and movements; F the duration and frequency of the task; F distance and time; F the effort/force required to lift/move the

of your body (keep the load between shoulder and mid thigh height, arms at right angles);
F keep movement (force applied to lift)

forward or backward and avoid twisting your spine or knees;


F seek the assistance of another reghter

to share the load or use a mechanical aid as appropriate; and


F limit the frequency and duration of heavy/

hazardous manual handling tasks.

object; and
F the nature of the load, for example, shape

and weight. Unless performed correctly, manual handling activities have the potential to cause injury to reghters. Common types of injuries include:
F muscular/joint sprain and strain where

muscles or joints in the arms, shoulders, back or legs may be damaged;


F impact injuries where heavy items fall on

AVOID INJURY
Straight back and knees bent
Figure 20 lifting correctly can help avoid injuries

you causing damage;


F back injuries where discs or vertebrae

are damaged; and


F hernias where tears may occur in the

muscular wall of the abdomen.

Refer to your agencys procedures for lifting and moving heavy objects.

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Natural hazards
F Domestic and wild animals behave

erratically when panicked by re. Where possible, avoidance is the best way to deal with this situation. Extreme care is required when handling stressed animals. Be aware that releasing animals such as horses, sheep or cattle is likely to cause a trafc hazard.
F Reptiles and insects. The best protection

Post and wire fences are constructed with tension in the wires to prevent sagging. If a fence wire needs to be cut, park the vehicle at a sufcient distance from the fence and warn people in the immediate area. When you have cut the wire, coil it around the post and tie it off to reduce the possibility of anyone being injured. It is also a good idea to stagger the position of the cuts so that the longer strands can be joined as a temporary measure later by the landowner.

from reptiles and insects is to avoid them where possible and always wear protective clothing.

Precautions
When cutting a fence wire, drive a stick into the hole that the wire is passing through. This stops the cut wire from pulling through the post and icking back.

Fencing
You should avoid jumping or climbing over fencing. Rotten or burnt posts and rails may collapse under your weight or loss of footing may cause injury. It is safer to go under or through a fence rather than over it.

Terrain
Unexpected changes in ground height may also cause injury or endanger your life. Be alert for:
F embankments and gullies with steep sides; F cliffs; F mine shafts; F wells; and F other crews working up slope.

Precautions
When working in thick vegetation, dense smoke or at night, unevenness in the ground will not be easy to see. You will need to:
F be observant, constantly monitoring your

position;
F consider the need for a torch and external
Figure 21 fence damaged by re

lighting;
F work and stay in contact with other team

members;
F stay on dened tracks or paths as much as

possible; and
F move at a pace suitable for the particular

conditions.
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Hazardous trees recognise the hazard


Many serious injuries and fatalities occur while working around trees; people and vehicles have been struck by falling trees and branches. People working around hazardous trees need to be able to recognise the hazard and take steps to minimise the risk. The most effective ways to reduce the risks associated with hazardous trees is to avoid being in the area or wherever possible, take actions that will prevent potentially hazardous trees being further weakened by re.

F the tree is currently on re if greater than

50% of the base is burnt out and spiral cracks are present it represents a high risk;
F the tree has re ash at its base, indicating

that roots may be burnt out;

Fire ash

Indicators that a tree may be hazardous


As you move around the reground you need to look carefully to see if there are any indicators that a tree may be hazardous. Indicators may include:
F the base of the tree has been impacted

Figure 23 re ash indicating roots may be burnt out

F the base of the tree displays soil heave,

indicating that it has moved; and

Soil heave

by re with greater than 50% of the base burnt out;

Fire impact

Figure 24 soil heave

Figure 22 tree with greater than 50% base burnout

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F the tree has broken limbs still in the tree or

on the ground around the tree.

Remember: that safety is everybodys responsibility. Being observant on the reground and reporting hazards will greatly assist in maintaining safety for all crews and personnel on the reground.

Marking hazardous trees


CFA members will not mark hazardous trees. DSE will conduct this task. Refer to DSE Hazardous Tree Guideline for further information on assessing and marking hazardous trees. The marking system for pre-treatment of potentially hazardous trees is a yellow dot on two sides of the tree; this is to alert the crew to perform protection work. This marking system is not to be confused with clear and present danger actual hazardous trees where the trees are marked with a yellow K. Following re impact DSE will assess the area for hazardous trees to a distance equivalent to one tree height plus the mopup depth from the control line. Hazardous trees presenting a clear and present danger will be marked with the letter K and processes to treat the tree will be instigated. Marking is to be spray painted, in nonammable aerosol yellow greater than 30 cm height, on two sides so it can be seen when accessing from the control line. In addition, hazard tape (black and yellow meaning: CAUTION DO NOT ENTER) will be tied at 1 x 90 cm length, or one hoop around a tree, is required to identify the edge of the control line adjacent to the hazardous tree or group of trees.

Hanging branch

Figure 25 hanging branches

Actions on seeing a potentially hazardous tree


When seeing a tree that you think is hazardous, you should immediately:
F alert all the people that are working in the

immediate area;
F advise your Crew Leader, who will then

report the location of the suspect tree up the chain of command and arrange for it to be appropriately marked then mitigated by DSE;
F CFA crews, under direction of the Crew

Leader, will deploy re tape (red and white tape) at least two tree lengths from the hazardous tree or across any access track to isolate the hazardous tree; and
F DSE crews will implement the DSE

hazardous tree guideline on assessing and marking hazardous trees.

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Further identication and marking of hazardous trees (K in yellow spray paint) can also commence to 2 x tree height from the control line and 2 x 90 cm lengths, or two hoops around a tree, to identify the edge of the control line adjacent to the hazard. Alternatively, systematic treatment of additional hazardous trees can occur simultaneously with mop-up while maintaining safe work areas between different operations. When you see a marked hazardous tree, you need to modify any plans that you have to ensure that you reduce the potential impact if the tree or branch(s) fall. Hazardous tree within 2 tree lengths

Dangerous rocks
Rolling rocks can cause serious injury or even death. Rocks that are dislodged by heavy machinery working on slopes have the potential to roll downhill, posing a risk to crews working down slope. A rock pushed by a machine may dislodge other rocks. This combination creates a domino effect and creates the risk of a severe impact or crush injury at some distance from the machine. Note: never work down slope from heavy machinery and always stay more than two tree lengths away in any direction.

Precautions
To reduce the likelihood of injury:
F always wear your bushre helmet; F keep a look out for hazards created by

rocks; and
F when working on slopes remember to look

up slope.

Figure 26 tape indicating a hazardous tree two tree lengths away

Mine shafts
Many areas of Victoria are dotted with open and partially collapsed disused mine shafts. These are a constant hazard to reghters as in many cases they will be concealed by undergrowth. Extreme care should be taken when working in areas known to have mine shafts.

Figure 27 hazardous tree marking

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Inhalation of smoke and dust can:


F reduce your performance on the

reground;
F bring on fatigue more quickly; F bring on illness; and F alter perception and judgement.

Severe inhalation of smoke may result in death due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Figure 28 a mine shaft

Precautions
Minimise the effects of smoke and dust by:
F avoiding unnecessary exposure; and F using approved personal protective

Precautions
You need to keep a constant watch out for mine shafts. Where possible, crews should avoid working in these areas at night. If work in these areas at night cannot be avoided, make sure the work area is well lit using vehicle head lights or portable tanker work lighting where necessary carry a torch with you.

equipment when travelling or operating in any smoke or dust affected areas, for example, P2 particulate lters and goggles.

Smoke and dust hazards


Smoke and dust are ever-present irritants to your eyes and lungs at res. Prolonged exposure to heavy smoke can be hazardous to reghters. In addition to restricting visibility, heavy smoke contains higher concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO) which is a poisonous gas.

Working at night
Where possible, crews should avoid working in dangerous situations at night. Consideration should be given to relocating control lines to reduce the exposure to risk. If work in these areas at night cannot be avoided, make sure the work area is well lit using vehicle head lights or portable tanker work lighting where necessary carry a torch with you.

Disorientation
Smoke blocks out sunlight and this can cause loss of situational awareness. Note: in situations where there is heavy smoke, be aware that fresh air pockets may be found near the ground.
Figure 29 tankers operating in smoke

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Poor visibility
Vehicles and earth moving equipment create intense dust. Smoke, dust and reground situations can make the environment very dark. These conditions may be referred to as brown out conditions. Reduced visibility is a hazard to personnel and trafc and can lead to poor situational awareness and disorientation.

Trip hazards
Uneven ground, debris such as fallen branches and even hose lines all pose a trip hazard.

Precautions
To reduce the likelihood of injury, watch out for possible trip hazards and, where possible, remove them.

Radiant heat
Radiant heat is a potential killer. Exposure to radiant heat increases fatigue and can lead to heat related illnesses. You are in real trouble if radiant heat enters your body faster than you can maintain your core body temperature by sweating. As ame height increases so does radiant heat. In cases of sudden are ups, if you do not nd shelter or move away from the are up, you may receive serious burns within seconds and collapse and die within minutes. As radiant heat only travels in straight lines from its source, taking refuge behind a large solid object such as a structure will shield you from the radiant heat. If unable to place a barrier between you and the heat source then you need to minimise your exposure to the amount of radiant heat. Cover all exposed skin and lay face down in a fuel reduced area, where the air may be fresher, until the are up subsides.

Figure 30 reduced visibility as dust obscures working dozer

Precautions
If visibility is poor due to dust, smoke, low light or darkness:
F make an exclusion zone around any

machines;
F close off road or track; and F ensure vehicle or machinery lights are

switched on.

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Precautions
As discussed previously, personal protective clothing and equipment is designed to offer some protection against radiant heat. If you are too close to the re, your core body temperature will still rise. To overcome this you need to move further away from the heat source, that is, the ame, to a more comfortable distance. Four times the ame height is the accepted comfortable distance.

Spot res
Spot res are res that occur ahead of, or away from, the main re. If embers start to fall in the area around you causing spot res to develop, the situation is critical.

Flame height = 2 m

Figure 32 spot re in a forest

Comfortable distance = 4 x flame height 8m

Figure 31 accepted comfortable distance

If radiant heat could become life threatening consider relocating to your safe area or implementing your taking refuge procedures (see page 60).
Figure 33 spot re in grassland

Precautions
You should immediately inform your Crew Leader and be prepared to leave the area using planned escape routes if spot res cannot be easily controlled.

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Changes in wind direction/strength


To ensure crew safety, it is critical that reghters monitor the current weather conditions and receive information about potential changes to wind direction and strength. Changes in wind direction and strength can cause shifts in the re front and can cause long and relatively quiet anks to suddenly become active re fronts resulting in entrapment.

Working near power lines


Electrical hazards may be encountered at bushres or other incidents by power lines being brought down due to:
F high winds; F falling trees or branches; F motor vehicle impact; or F burnt power poles falling.

wind wind

Figure 35 burnt power pole fallen on road

You must always consider downed electrical wires as live. Do not come into contact with the wires. Report downed lines to the power company.
after wind change

before wind change

Figure 34 changes in wind direction

Precautions
F Monitor the weather; F monitor re behaviour; and F maintain situational awareness.

A downed live power line may result in electricity owing through the ground surface for several metres around the area where the wire is making contact. Fireghters who stand on, or walk over, ground that is in contact with electrical wires may receive an electric shock through their legs. Under some circumstances the electric shock can be fatal. Note: if a wire is in contact with an object such as a metal or wire fence or a vehicle, the whole object should be considered live even at some considerable distance from the point of contact.

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You should also be aware that overhead high voltage power or transmission lines can short circuit to ground through smoke and ames without making direct ground contact. If arcing is observed the area is unsafe. Putting water on a re will increase the electrical conductivity of the smoke. If the smoke is green/grey colour and curling as it rises under the transmission lines, then there is a high likelihood of a transmission line ashover or discharging to the ground.

the minimum safe distance from any fallen transmission line (extra high voltage) is 20 metres. Note: these distances will increase if the ground is wet or water is present.
F notify the power supply company to cut

power and follow its advice regarding safe work practices;


F cordon off the area with tape, rope or by

other suitable means;


F do not work directly under high voltage or

transmission lines where smoke is present;


F do not park your vehicle near loose

dangling electrical wires;


F where possible, avoid locating the

appliance, or working, under overhead electrical lines or on the inside angle of overhead electrical wires where they change direction;
F avoid applying a direct stream of

water onto electrical equipment or making contact between electrical equipment and wet hose lines as water conducts electricity;
F take special care at night use a torch or

your vehicles lights to locate the ends of fallen wires;


Figure 36 extra high voltage transmission towers (500KV)

F ensure people working in the area are

Precautions
F Maintain a safe distance from downed

warned of the danger; and


F maintain minimum overhead clearance. No

wires, power lines or towers that are covered in smoke: the minimum safe distance from any fallen distribution line (low voltage, SWER or high voltage) is 8 metres;

vehicle or equipment greater than 4 metres in height, including communication aerials, is permitted under transmission lines.

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Working around vehicles and appliances


Vehicles and appliances at, or travelling to or from, a re are a potential hazard to emergency personnel and other road users.

F do not ride on the back of a vehicle

or appliance unless it is designed for this purpose;


F when working on the rear work platform of a

Precautions
Vehicle should be operated in a manner that will minimise the risk to others; this may include the use of warning lights and driving to suit the conditions. When working on or around vehicles and appliances:
F drivers and passengers in the cabin

vehicle or appliance, be aware that there is a potential for slipping, falling or being thrown, especially if the vehicle is moving over rough or steep terrain;
F always be alert for hazards created by

vehicles being driven carelessly in conditions of poor visibility, track or road conditions;
F stay clear while working on the ground

near a moving vehicle or appliance the driver may not see you; and
F mount and dismount the vehicle or

should always wear a seat belt on a moving vehicle or appliance (where tted);

appliance using the steps and rails provided to the crew area and cabin to avoid injury do not jump from any vehicle or appliance.

Figure 37 use seat belts where tted

F crew members outside the cabin should

be seated in the roll over protective system (ROPS) and wearing seat belts at all times, unless actively engaged in reghting operations;
F ensure any items of equipment carried in

Into the crew area

Into the cabin

Figure 38 mounting and dismounting an appliance

When parking or siting vehicles or appliance:


F the driver may remove his or her seat belt

the vehicle or appliance are safely stowed, locker doors are closed and secured, and exterior equipment is secured;

while reversing;
F the crew should assist by guiding the

driver while reversing or siting the vehicle or appliance;

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F the crew must ensure that they are within

the drivers eld of view;


F the driver must know the dimensions of the

vehicle or appliance;
F site vehicle or appliance properly ensure

that you maintain at least two tree lengths separation while working. These machines may dislodge rocks, logs and trees, on both at ground and on slopes, causing hazards for both reghters and vehicles.

it is sited in a way that ensures it will neither be blocked in, nor block the path of other vehicles;
F park safely both the vehicle and crew

Precautions
Do not approach heavy machinery until you have established eye contact and received acknowledgement from the operator. Operators will have extreme difculty hearing over the noise of the machine. Only approach when directed by the operator. Heavy machinery such as a bulldozer, can slew or turn quickly and without warning. You should never attempt to hitch a ride as the moving tracks, or wheels, can be hazardous. If you need to approach an operator, do so only when you have made eye contact and signalled your need to communicate. Only approach when you receive the signal it is safe to do so. Remain in the line of sight of the operator at all times.

are at risk of injury from falling trees and branches if parked too close to unstable trees, only park the vehicle after you have ensured the area is safe from falling trees; and
F if alighting on the drivers side of the

vehicle, be cautious of passing trafc.

Working around heavy machinery


Heavy machinery, such as bulldozers, excavators, graders, farm machinery, tractors, ploughs and bobcats create their own unique set of hazards. Personnel working near any heavy machinery, in a vehicle or on foot, risk being crushed if the machine operator is not aware of them. At night, these hazards pose an even greater risk. All machine operators have restricted elds of vision to the front and rear due to the engine and roll over protection systems. Dust, smoke and darkness may further impede the operators view. When working around any machinery such as chainsaws, bulldozers, graders, and farm machinery, you must ensure the operator is aware of your location at all times, day or night. It is important that you never work in an area below where the machinery is operating and

Figure 39 only approach bulldozer when operator has signalled it is safe to do so

At night you should carry a torch or remain in a well lit area. In all cases you must follow the operators instructions.

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Chainsaws
Chainsaws are used at bushres to cut open burning logs, fall trees, cut branches which have fallen on roads and to cut rebreaks. They are a useful, but a potentially dangerous tool.

Note: chainsaws must have safety features in accordance with relevant Australian standards, and be maintained and kept in good condition by competent personnel only.

Firebombing
Suppressants dropped from rebombing aircraft may travel at high speed and the impact can break or dislodge material from trees. Low ying aircraft may create turbulence that can also dislodge material from trees. Both situations may pose a danger to on-ground reghters near a rebombing target.

Figure 40 chainsaw in use

Precautions
If you have not been trained and endorsed to use a chainsaw, do not operate one. A qualied chainsaw operator should always operate the chainsaw in accordance with agencys procedures and wear the correct protective clothing that may include:
F helmet; F face shield/eye protection; F ear protection; F gloves; F high visibility personal protective clothing; F chainsaw trousers (or chaps); and F safety boots (steel cap).
Figure 41 stay clear of drop zone during rebombing activity

Crew members should keep a minimum of 1 m from cross cut operations and two tree lengths from falling operations. When chainsaw operations are occurring you should attract the operators attention and only approach when directed by the operator or their offsider.

Ground personnel must be alert, and watch and listen for the noise of low ying aircraft, which could indicate rebombing is imminent. If ground personnel are near a rebombing target they must move a safe distance clear of the target area. The Air Attack Supervisor

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is responsible for warning ground personnel of incoming drops from rebombing aircraft and ensuring they are clear before allowing a rebombing operation to proceed. Note: sirens on rebombing aircraft may be difcult to hear in a high noise level environment i.e. vehicles, pumps, chainsaws. Also note that not all rebombing aircraft are equipped with a siren. If you are caught in a rebombing drop zone:
F place hand tools well clear of you; F secure your hard hat or helmet, or protect

Class A foam
Class A foam is widely used in bushre reghting. It is a concentrated detergent and as such there are precautions that need to be taken when handling, working near and applying it.

Precautions
F A risk assessment must be undertaken by

a Class A foam trained operator as a rst step prior to using Class A foam to ensure that health and safety of personnel is not compromised;
F all personnel working in areas where Class

your head with your arms;


F move away from the rebombing drop

zone;
F do not run or panic; F watch your footing foams and retardant

A foam is being used on the ground or dropped from aircraft are to be advised and appropriate care taken to avoid contamination of any personnel;
F care should be taken when working in

can make the ground slippery;


F watch out for falling branches and debris

rebombing loads can hit with high velocity; and


F if hit with foam or retardant, wash off with

areas covered with Class A foam, as trip hazards and holes may be concealed underneath the foam blanket; and
F Class A concentrate and solution

water as soon as possible.

contribute to slippery conditions for personnel and vehicles. Affected areas should be closely monitored and avoided where necessary.

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Working Around Aircraft


A range of aircraft are used in bushre suppression activities. The uses of aircraft at an incident can vary widely. The main uses are:
F detecting res; F rebombing by applying water, retardants

F communications headset if required; and F hearing protection if required.

Aircraft safety briefs


Always follow the directions given by the pilot, ight crew or aircraft marshal. The pilot or an authorised person such as the Rappel Dispatcher or the Air Attack Supervisor will conduct a safety brieng. It remains the responsibility of the pilot to ensure that the brieng is conducted. Note: Civil Aviation Order 20.11 requires that all passengers receive a safety brief prior to take off. It should never be assumed that experience negates this requirement. The following points must be covered for all ights:
F entry and exit paths and approach

or suppressants;
F rebomber coordination; F aerial ignition of unburnt fuel within the re

perimeter;
F transporting crews and equipment; and F observing and mapping res using infrared

equipment and other technology. When working in or around aircraft there are general safety principles that apply. You are to comply with the following principles at all times. The following PPE must be worn by reghters being ferried by helicopters to and from the reline:
F protective footwear leather boots of a

procedures;
F danger areas; F loading and carriage of equipment

including the stowage of hand luggage and personal equipment;


F smoking and naked ame restrictions; F door and seat belt operation; and F the location and operation of the

sufcient height to allow the legs of the ight suit overalls to overlap the boot. Note: if the person assists in refuelling or loading operations involving drummed fuel or heavy items then safety boots are required;
F agency approved ight suit (one piece) or

re extinguisher(s); rst-aid kit; Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT); Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB); emergency exits;

Agency approved reghting overalls; or 100% natural bre or cotton work type shirt with long sleeves and work type trousers;
F non-ammable underclothes;

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special survival equipment and/or supplies; life jackets, if applicable; and crash procedures and positions.

F Everybody must be ready to board as

soon as the pilot signals.

Fixed wing safety


The safety procedures that apply in the vicinity of xed wing aircraft are as follows.
F Always be aware of propellers, particularly

Landing or take-off areas


The safety procedures that apply in the vicinity of landing or take-off areas are as follows.
F When working on or near an airstrip/

when engines are idling during warmup and brief stops to load or unload passengers, materials or equipment.
F Do not lean on the propeller of a piston

helipad always wear safety boots, protective overalls, goggles and ear protectors.
F Carry all hats, including hard hats and

helmets, unless the chinstraps are secured soft, peaked (baseball type) caps must be removed and put in a secure pocket.
F Do not leave loose objects near aircraft or

engine aircraft as the engine can turn over if the ignition switches are left on, or the engine is at the bottom of the compression stroke.
F Do not handle control surfaces such

as ailerons, elevators, rudder, aps or trim tabs.


F Do not handle aerials as they bend easily. F Do not handle pitot tubes; they can be

landing areas where they may be blown about.


F Stay well clear of landing and take-off

bent and could be hot.


F Entry and exit from the plane is dictated by

areas when aircraft are operating, unless a specic task requires being in the area.
F Smoking is prohibited within 30 m of any

the pilot and the aircraft type.


F When boarding and leaving aircraft be

aircraft, fuel dump or refuelling equipment.


F Campres must be at least 100 m away

careful to avoid using panel areas marked no step.


F The pilot is responsible for the correct

from aircraft.
F Stay away from any moving parts. F If moving large crews, conduct a safety

brief.
F Keep crews together to one side of the

weight and balance of the aircraft. Only assist with loading heavy or bulky equipment or materials under the pilots supervision. The above points needs to be read in conjunctions with ground safety rules, personal protective equipment requirements and pre-ight brieng requirements.

landing area and instruct them to face away during take-off or landings.
F Make each person responsible for their

own gear.

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Helicopter safety
The safety procedures that apply in the vicinity of helicopters are listed and illustrated below.
F Stay in the pilots eld of view at all times.

F Approach in the pilots eld of view in a

crouched position.
F Do not run. F Watch out for aerials and pitot tubes,

which are easily damaged.


F Do not operate a camera (still, digital

or video) during engines running hot loading or unloading.


F Do not approach the helicopter until the

rotors have completely stopped or started. A slowing main rotor can tilt downwards, especially in windy weather.
Figure 42 h Fi helicopter li t pilot pilots il ts eld eld ld of f view i and danger areas

F Stay away from spinning main and tail

rotor blades as they are not readily visible.

Figure 45 beware of tilting main rotors

F Be aware of ground irregularities on


Figure 43 danger area

uneven, sloping terrain. Approach and depart on the lowest, down slope side to give yourself maximum clearance.

F Stand outside the main rotor disc and do

not proceed until the pilot or ight crew member has seen you and indicated that you may enter the helicopter, most likely using a positive thumbs up signal.

Figure 46 beware of sloping terrain

Figure 44 approach after receiving the thumbs-up signal

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F When entering or departing the helicopter,

ensure that all hardhats and helmets are either securely fastened under the chin with a chinstrap or carried securely under the arm.
Figure 49 if dust, crouch with back to the helicopter

F Do not rush, take time to think and

observe. Remember a helicopter can move in all directions.


F Look after your own gear and be ready to

board when directed to do so.

In-ight safety
Follow these safety procedures before and during a ight.
Figure 47 secure hats and caps

F Carefully close and latch the doors.

F Do not wear soft cloth or baseball type

caps at any time when entering or departing a helicopter that has its rotors turning.
F Carry stretchers, tools and other objects

Helicopter doors are usually of lightweight construction and easily damaged if subjected to force. Slamming the door is not necessary and does not engage any latching devices.
F Fasten seatbelts securely and keep them

horizontally, rmly held below the waist. Never carry equipment upright or over the shoulder.

fastened at all times unless the pilot directs otherwise.


F Sit where instructed by the pilot or ight crew. F Do not distract the pilot, especially during

take-off and landing. Signal an intention to speak, and wait for a response. Inform the pilot of any possible hazards of which they may not be aware.
Figure 48 carry objects below waist height

F Smoking is not permitted on board

F Carry long objects between two people. F If blinded by dust, stop, cover the eyes and

any aircraft.
F Do not place loose objects indiscriminately

crouch down with your back to the helicopter. Wait in this position until your vision is clear or someone comes to assist you.

in the cockpit or on the cabin oor. They may move about and affect the controls or become dangerous projectiles in the event of an accident.
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F Do not throw objects from the helicopter. F Do not operate a camera (still, digital

F If an emergency should occur, follow

or video) inight, without the specic approval of the pilot or ight crew.
F Stow all cameras safely in your personal

the pilots or crew members directions immediately and: do not panic; fasten seat belts or harnesses if not already fastened; secure any loose objects; and brace for impact.
F After landing:

gear bag not around your neck during a ight, unless specic approval has been given by the pilot or helicopter crewman.
F Do not open doors in ight unless instructed

to by the pilot or a ight crew member.


F Always obtain the pilots approval to exit. F Always exit in the pilot or a ight crew

wait for all movement to stop; leave the aircraft in an orderly manner in the pilots sight or as directed by the pilot or ight crew; and when out of the aircraft, move clear in an upwind direction, as a re risk always exists.

members eld of view.

Emergency procedures
The emergency procedures that apply during a ight are as follows.
F If you are travelling in an aircraft for the

rst time, ensure the pilot or a ight crew member brief you on the procedure for opening the doors and fastening seat belts. There are many varied combinations, even amongst aircraft of the same type.
F Look for the location of the:

Baggage and cargo safety


The procedures for the safe transportation of baggage and cargo are as follows.
F Equipment and cargo is to be loaded

re extinguisher (possibly two); rst-aid kit; Electronic Locator Transmitter (ELT); Electronic Positioning Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB); and if in doubt ask the pilot or ight crew member.
F Large helicopters have emergency exits

only under the supervision of the pilot or the ight crew who are responsible for keeping the aircraft within its weight and balance limits.
F Equipment and cargo must be unloaded

under the supervision of the pilot and ight crew with the same care as loading.
F Know the approximate weight of

your baggage.
F Restrain all internal loads and cover all

tted in the sliding doors. Many xed wing aircraft have pop-out windows that are also emergency exits. Look at the instructions for opening them.

sharp objects to prevent injury to ight crew and/or passengers.

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F All cameras must be safely stowed

in personal gear bags (not around necks) during a ight unless specic approval has been given by the pilot or helicopter crewman.

General Health
If you are suffering any form of illness on the reline you should seek medical attention/ advice as soon as possible. Even the ttest person will tire easily without enough rest, sleep, correct and sufcient food, and uids. DSE reghters must have successfully completed a t for re assessment before commencing work as a reghter.

Dangerous goods personal items


Certain personal items are prohibited under IATA regulations from being carried on board aircraft as personal items. These items must be declared, packaged and placarded when transported by air. The pilot must be advised of any dangerous goods being transported. Dangerous goods are to be loaded and unloaded only under the supervision of the pilot or ight crew. If unsure ask the pilot or ight crew. Personal dangerous goods are:
F non-approved matches unless covered in

Health
If you have any medical conditions that may affect you during reghting operations, consult with your doctor prior to the re danger period. If you have a medical condition that is managed by medication and are able to participate in strike team duties, ensure your Strike Team Leader, Task Force Leader, and/ or Crew Leader are aware of your condition and any medication that you may require while on duty.

a protective sleeve;
F gas (butane) lighters, including

disposable lighters;
F gas butane lighter rells; F propane camp stoves and rells; F ammable solvents and paints, even when

Medications
You may have a medical or physical condition that requires medication to resolve symptoms. These medications are usually a once or twice a day administration to maintain a level of control over the symptoms. If you miss one dose there may be little effect on your condition, but, if you are on a strike team for days and have left your medication at home you may become ill and require treatment or hospitalisation. It is your responsibility to carry enough personal medication for the duration of your deployment.

these items are carried in tool-boxes; and


F signalling or smoke ares which are

not items of the essential aircraft safety equipment. The following items are permitted under IATA regulations to be carried as personal items without declaration or placarding:
F safety matches in their package; and F Zippo or non-disposable type lighters.

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Hygiene
Wash your hands! When working on the reground there are many places that contamination by bacteria can occur, leading to gastro disorders due to bacterial infection. In many cases, these infections are due to poor hygiene habits while on the reground or at the Staging Area prior to or during meal times. Bacteria can be picked up in the bush or from the vehicle that you have been working on in the form of small particles in, on or around your vehicle. You may be picking up some food items or eating utensils by hand, hence you will be spreading the bacteria from your hands to the food and then eating it. Note: to prevent infection occurring you should always wash your hands prior to eating, after using the toilet and prior to handling any food or drinks even when stowing food and drinks on the vehicle.

Stress and anxiety


What is stress?
Stress is a state of physical, emotional and psychological arousal or tension resulting from an unexpected or extreme event. How you might react to a critical incident is difcult to predict, but it is more likely to have an impact on you if you are already experiencing increased demands relating to previous turn-outs or other issues in your personal life.

Your bodys response to stress


When you rst nd yourself in a stressful situation, your body responds by trying to provide more energy and prepare you for greater levels of action. Your heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension will temporarily increase and you will experience a higher level of physical and mental alertness. If stress continues your body will try other ways to deal with the problem. These can include increased smoking, alcohol and drug use and poor work performance. You may experience increased anxiety, irritability, aggression and sleep disturbance, leaving you feeling exhausted.

Managing Stress Levels


Everyone has to deal with stress at some level. It is a part of life and the human psyche.

What is anxiety?

Personal/occupational stress
From time to time, we all struggle to manage our work, family and volunteering commitments and responsibilities. Increased work demands, tight deadlines, conict, commitments made to spouses/partners and other family members can at times reduce our capacity to respond effectively to stressful situations.

Most generally, anxiety is an unpleasant emotional state with qualities of apprehension, dread, distress or uneasiness, accompanied by psychological arousal. Anxiety can be vague and the causes can be difcult to identify for the individual experiencing it.

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Your bodys response to anxiety


Anxiety can manifest as difculty concentrating, tiring easily, restlessness, irritability, a high level of muscle tension and disturbed sleep. Stress and anxiety often go together, and are sometimes difcult to differentiate. They have in common an increased physiological response to a perceived or potentially unmanageable event. In most circumstances however, both stress and anxiety can be managed effectively.

It can occur during a critical incident or sometime afterwards. Short-term stress or elevated anxieties are the most common reactions to events that are perceived as traumatic. It is important to note that with appropriate assistance most people return to pre-incident functioning after an event.

Managing stress and anxiety


Current research suggests that most people can effectively manage the stress and anxiety associated with even the most traumatic events if their social support network is functioning effectively. Day to day, we can protect ourselves from increased stress and anxiety by:
F eating well; F getting regular exercise; F taking time out to do the things we enjoy; F keeping in touch with family and friends; F socialising; F controlling our intake of non-prescription

Critical Incident Stress


Critical Incident Stress (CIS) is an uncomfortable reaction to demands which are sudden, unexpected and come from a specic incident or number of incidents. It is possible that many incidents have the potential to create the conditions under which critical incident stress could occur. Knowledge of events that can be considered critical incidents are well known amongst reghters. They are things like motor vehicle accidents, prolonged incidents, multiple deaths, serious injury or death of persons known to the crew. These incidents, particularly those involving fatalities, have the potential to be more stressful than regular emergency response activities. This is because these events have the potential to challenge, on an emotional level, our sense of control and personal safety or that of our loved ones. Critical Incident Stress can produce an intolerable or prolonged stress reaction for emergency services responders.

drugs and alcohol;


F getting an adequate amount of sleep; F talking about feelings of stress or anxiety

to someone we trust;
F being aware of stressful situations or

personal pressures in your life; and


F using relaxation techniques such as

exercise, meditation or hobbies.

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Managing Psychological Conditions


Organisation support services
CFA and DSE provide a range of services that offer support or provide assistance in dealing with a personal or work related issue. These services are free to volunteers, staff and their immediate families. The professional services can assist with family problems, relationship difculties, vocational advice, drug and alcohol abuse or nancial issues. Contact with service providers is kept strictly condential.

F acknowledge any immediate feelings of

distress in yourself or your crew mates; and


F look after each other monitor crew

members wellbeing during the incident and take steps to address distress as far as possible.

Support after the incident


F After the incident it may help to talk to

someone, especially your crew mates;


F do not drink too much alcohol; F do not go home to an empty house; F do not ght any stress reaction, accept it

as a normal response;
F do not make decisions about major

Critical Incident Stress Management


CFA and DSE provide a range of services, including the Peer Support Program, to support members and staff. Support services and how to access them are detailed below.

changes in your life;


F stay active and try to return to your regular

schedule as quickly as you can;


F stay connected with your social networks;

and
F take special care at work. Stress reactions

During an incident
There are steps you can take during an incident to help protect yourself from Critical Incident Stress.
F Be aware of your own physical and

combined with a lack of sleep can lead to a higher risk of workplace accidents.

What you can do for your crew mates?


F Spend time with them. Listen carefully,

emotional responses during an incident;


F recognise that incident events are likely to

reassure them and support them. Just being there for them may be all they require;
F if they do not want to talk, give them

make you feel uncomfortable regardless of your level of involvement;


F minimise, as far as possible, your

space;
F look for misdirected anger; and F suggest they contact a peer or utilise the

exposure to the traumatic stimulus;

services provided.

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Support services
Peer support personnel are part of the Incident Management Team and can provide:
F on scene support; F facilitate debrieng/defusing sessions; F support to family members during an

Further information can be obtained by contacting your District Ofce or the Member Support Unit at CFA Headquarters. DSE staff should refer to the Health and Fitness pages on FireWeb.

General Health Hazards


Physical or mental exhaustion (commonly termed fatigue)
The conditions and work that you undertake at an incident can be physically stressful and demanding. Exhaustion is the key factor affecting your performance at an incident. Exposure to radiant heat and smoke for a lengthy period of time may increase your level of physical stress and the likelihood of exhaustion. Fatigue is a symptom of exhaustion, rather than a specic condition or disorder. Fatigue can be listed as a symptom in many conditions that you may face on a reground, for example, dehydration, smoke inhalation and physical exhaustion. If you are tired, you are more likely to make mistakes, which can cause accidents, injury and put others at risk. It is important to take regular rest breaks when safe to do so during reghting activities. Fatigue is only rectied by rest. Refer to your agencys procedures on fatigue management. Note: you should not drive vehicles or operate equipment if you are physically or mentally exhausted.

incident; and
F ongoing emotional support for any

individual or their family following an incident. Peers may make contact with you after you attend a critical incident. The peer may follow up with you to offer you support in the form of a defusing or an individual support session. You are not obligated to utilise this service but both CFA and DSE strongly recommend that you use these services to reduce the potential impact of critical incidents. Anyone can activate a peer, including:
F the Ofcer-in-Charge; F a family member; F an individual brigade member or work

colleague; and
F anyone who has a concern about the

welfare of a crew member, for example, family member, friend, or employer. Peers can also provide support to members and their families when dealing with issues such as grief or loss, relationship difculties, family concerns or nancial problems by explaining what support avenues are available, and refer you on to a professional who best suits your needs.

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Signs and symptoms


F Tiredness and lack of energy; F slowness to react and taking longer than

During your breaks, you should:


F rest out of the sun; F cool off by unbuttoning clothing and

usual to complete tasks;


F impaired judgement and inability to make

removing your helmet when away from the reline if it is safe to do so;
F drink water, alternated with an approved

decisions;
F inability to concentrate and lapses in

electrolyte replacement drink;


F regularly eat snacks; and F avoid strenuous physical recreation.

attention; and
F erratic performance.

Treatment actions
To minimise the possibility of becoming exhausted at an incident, you should:
F take regular breaks to rest and allow your

Its possible to force tired muscles to keep on working, but your brain cannot function adequately without sleep. Fireghters should get ample sleep prior to commencing or in between shifts.

body to recover in a cooler environment such as the air conditioned cabin of your vehicle;

Precautions
Maintain a high level of tness. If you are physically t, you are less likely to experience exhaustion in the short-term. This, however, does not mean that you can avoid taking adequate breaks and rest. It simply means that you cope better with the physical stress, and recover more quickly than a less t person. You should refer to you agencys policies and procedures if you feel fatigued. DSE has implemented a fatigue management policy to reduce the risk of crew fatigue. This policy covers lengths of shift and timing of breaks and has rules about driving when fatigued.

Figure 50 take regular breaks for rest, food and uid

F pace yourself and rotate tasks; F drink water and electrolyte replacement

Dehydration
The bodys cooling system involves perspiring. Dehydration will occur if uids and electrolytes lost through perspiration are not replaced.

drinks/powder regularly; and


F where possible, avoid working in excessive

dust, smoke and heat.

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Your thirst is not a true indication of how much water your body needs. There is a time lag between the onset of dehydration and feeling the need for water. You may, in fact, begin to suffer the effects of dehydration before you realise it. You know when you are perspiring use this as an indication that your body needs appropriate uids. Note: air conditioned transport may contribute to dehydration.

Treatment
The use of an agency approved electrolyte drink/powder is important to maintaining good hydration levels. When perspiring you lose electrolytes from the body. Water alone will not replace these electrolytes. A lack of electrolytes may induce a condition referred to as water saturation, which in turn may lead to unconsciousness, convulsions and eventually death.

Precautions
On days of total re ban and extreme re danger, you should increase your hydration in case you are called out. Water and an agency approved electrolyte replacement drink should be consumed regularly. You should always drink more than you need in order to prevent dehydration. Failure to do this leads to the body overheating and the onset of heat illness. While travelling to and from the reground and working on the reground, you need to replace uids frequently. The recommended ratio of water to electrolytes is 2:1. Depending on workload you should be drinking up to 1200 ml of water and 600 ml of an agency approved electrolyte replacement drink/powder per hour. During asset protection and night duties the hydration procedures are just as important and will ensure that you are prepared for active reghting if required.

Figure 51 electrolyte replacement drink

Note: uid and electrolyte replenishment is vital for your health and safety especially so for less t people. In the past, emphasis may have been placed on drinking beverages such as cordial, tea or coffee and soft drinks as more desirable options to water when working on the reground. Medical research now indicates that this is not the best option as a high sugar content reduces the rate at which water is absorbed into the bloodstream and caffeine can increase the rate of body uid loss, that is, increased urination. Therefore, during reghting, plain water alternated with an agency approved electrolyte drink/powder is best.

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Cool water is naturally preferable if it is available. However, never chill your drinks as this can:
F quickly quench your thirst without

Precautions
When working outdoors during the day you should make sure that you apply a waterresistant sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30+ to all areas of exposed skin. You should apply sunscreen liberally to any exposed skin every two hours. As you are likely to be perspiring freely while working on the reground, you should try, where possible, to apply it more often. Make sure that your face, neck, ears, arms and the backs of your hands are covered, particularly when taking a break as you may have removed your helmet, gloves and outer clothing to aid cooling down.

providing you with adequate uid; and


F cause stomach cramps and fool your body

into thinking its cooler than it actually is. During rest periods, it is a good idea to drink water and sweetened beverages such as weak cordial or tea as they can assist in restoring energy. However:
F milky or fat-containing drinks should be

avoided; and
F alcoholic drinks should not be consumed

as they increase dehydration and impair your ability to safely carry out tasks. Refer to your agencys policy as appropriate. Water quality can vary from town to town; this can cause upset stomach or diarrhoea if you are not used to the contents of the local water. You should carry supplies of bottled drinking water, particularly when assisting outside your own area. Note: never drink water from vehicle tanks or knapsacks as it may be contaminated.

Sunburn
Prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to sunburn. Although not life threatening, sunburn can impact on your effectiveness. Be aware that you can easily be sunburnt even when the sky is overcast. Sunburn can lead to life threatening conditions such as skin cancers and melanomas. It is very important that you to cover up and use sunscreen at all times. Dont forget to reapply your sunscreen as advised.

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Heat Related Illnesses


In addition to the general health hazards as previously outlined, reghters also face the risk of heat-related illness such as (in order of severity from lowest to highest):
F heat cramps: F heat stress; F heat exhaustion; and F heat stroke.

Note: illnesses caused by exposure to extreme temperatures are progressive and can quickly become life threatening if not treated immediately. The bodys natural cooling system may fail if:
F the environment is too hot; F perspiration cannot evaporate freely; F you are ill or unt; F your bodys thermostat malfunctions due

The risk for reghters is increased due to the nature of their work, and the hot, humid and dusty conditions under which it is performed, often within the range of radiant heat and while wearing personal protective clothing and equipment. The human body is built to withstand changes in temperature and has an inbuilt thermostat that controls the bodys natural heating and cooling systems. The body cools itself by directing additional blood ow to the skin, which is cooled through the evaporation of perspiration. Under normal circumstances its mechanisms for regulating body temperature works well. However, when the capacity of this automatic cooling system is overwhelmed, your body starts to overheat and you become susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Due to their nature, a person may not know they are becoming affected by a heat-related illness you need to look out for each other. You need to be able to recognise the symptoms and know the treatments not only for your own wellbeing, but also for your buddies on the reground.

to disease, prescription or other drugs or alcohol;


F you fail to maintain adequate uid and

electrolyte intake; and/or


F you over exert yourself, particularly in

conditions of high humidity. To minimise the risk of heat related illness, you should:
F take regular breaks, preferably in the

shade away from the work environment or heat source;


F minimise the clothing you wear under your

bushre ensemble;
F loosen clothing to allow more air

circulation and better evaporation of perspiration;


F maintain adequate and appropriate uid

and electrolyte intake;


F pace yourself and rotate tasks; F work a comfortable distance away from the

ames and heat;


F wear sunscreen SPF 30+ and reapply it

every two hours;


F cover the back of your neck and keep the

sleeves rolled down;


F wear sun glasses; F monitor you own and the other members

of your crews health and well-being; and


F provide lower arm and body cooling.

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Lower arm cooling


CFA recommends that lower arm cooling be used as a treatment for heat related illness conditions. Pour water over the lower arms (front and back) from a hose (using water only) or bottled water or place cool wet towels on the arms, under arm pits and around the neck. Where possible fanning using a towel, jacket or fan will assist to cool blood ow through the arms and return cool blood to the core of the body. Water should not be frozen, approximately 10 20C is ideal. Note: if you have suffered from any heat related illness, you must follow agency procedures before returning to duty. Even mild cases of heat illness can take 24 hours to subside.

Heat cramps
These are common muscular cramps that may occur in the heat, during or after exercise, especially when an unt person has worked hard and perspired a lot. The onset of heat cramps is caused by failure to maintain an adequate intake of uid and appropriate breaks and cool down periods.

Signs and symptoms


F Muscular pain and spasms in the

affected area;
F feeling of tightness in the affected

muscles; and
F inability to relax contracted muscles.

Treatment actions
F Advise your Crew Leader; F take a rest break and cool down,

preferably in a cool, shaded area away from ames and heat;


F remove the person from the heat and work

environment;
F slowly drink water and an agency

approved electrolyte replacement drink/ powder;


F use lower arm cooling (CFA

recommendation);
F consume some food from your ration pack; F gently stretch the muscles; and F massage the affected area or muscles

gently. Note: although stretching and gentle massage of affected muscles may assist in relieving muscle cramps, this is secondary to uid replacement and cooling down.

Figure 52 examples of lower arm cooling

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Heat stress
You are suffering heat stress when your bodys cooling systems (perspiration and circulation) are being stressed but are not yet overwhelmed by the heat load. As discussed earlier, the body cools itself by perspiring and directing additional blood ow to the skin so that this blood can be cooled as the perspiration evaporates. As exercise produces heat internally, it is possible to suffer heat stress even in relatively cool conditions if clothing and equipment impair heat loss. A hot and humid atmosphere will make the situation worse. Radiant heat and extremes of air temperatures above normal body temperature (37C) can add an external heat load to the heat generated internally, further contributing to heat stress. As heat stress continues to affect the body, internal body temperature will rise and physical performance will drop. If the heat stress is too great or if the bodys cooling system becomes impaired by dehydration or exhaustion, continuing heat stress can lead to either heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Treatment actions
F Advise your Crew Leader; F take a rest break; F loosen personal protective clothing and

equipment;
F use lower arm cooling (CFA

recommendation);
F slowly drink water and an agency

approved electrolyte replacement drink/ powder; and


F if condition deteriorates, seek medical

attention. If you believe a colleague is becoming affected by heat stress, assist them to do the above.

Signs and symptoms


F Feeling very hot; F ushed, red skin; and F vigorous perspiration, loss of energy and

possibly a headache. Note: in very hot conditions, especially if windy, perspiration may evaporate so fast that the skin seems dry even though signicant perspiration and uid loss is occurring.

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Heat exhaustion
As its name implies, this condition develops as a result of becoming exhausted from working in the heat. If the body is heat stressed for too long without adequate uid and electrolyte intake, dehydration develops. This upsets the bodys chemistry, leading to weakness as well as reducing its capacity to continue perspiring. Even if uid and electrolyte intake is adequate, exhaustion will eventually set in if physical exercise continues beyond a persons normal endurance limits. Heat exhaustion is a combination of physical exhaustion, dehydration and upset body chemistry. If severe, it can lead to collapse and a form of shock.

Fireghters suffering from heat exhaustion are sometimes unaware of their condition and keep trying to work, even to the point of collapse. It is important that reghters keep an eye on each other. If anyone is slowing down, not looking well or speaking or acting oddly, you should suspect that person has heat exhaustion.

Treatment actions
F In severe cases or if condition deteriorates

seek medical attention;


F move the casualty away from the work

environment or heat source;


F lay the casualty in the best available

shade;
F use lower arm cooling (CFA

Signs and symptoms


F Feeling faint, light-headed and dizzy; F pale face a result of lowered blood

recommendation);
F if the casualty is conscious, give frequent

pressure;
F clammy skin an indication that there is

drinks of water and an approved electrolyte replacement drink/powder;


F loosen personal protective clothing and

some perspiration;
F loss of appetite; F headaches; F irritability and vagueness; and F muscular cramps and spasms.

equipment;
F sponge or spray water on the casualty

only if they are hot; and


F do not give salt tablets.

If more severe:
F vomiting; F confusion, drowsiness and weak pulse; F shallow breathing and unconsciousness;

If a casualty is unconscious, position the person on his or her side, ensure the airway is open, clear the airway and attend to breathing and circulation. Seek medical assistance as quickly as possible.

and
F in severe cases, death can result.

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Heat stroke
Heat stroke is the least common and most severe heat related illness. It occurs when the bodys cooling systems are overwhelmed and the bodys temperature rises to dangerous levels at which time the body starts to cook internally. In cases of severe heat stroke, this is irreversible and death will rapidly follow. Note: this process can occur quite rapidly it is essential that the casualty be externally cooled as quickly as possible and urgent medical attention is received if life is to be saved.

Treatment actions
This is a medical emergency. Immediate, effective cooling is essential.
F Call an ambulance and get on-site

medical assistance while waiting for the ambulance;


F remove the casualty from the work

environment and heat source;


F lay the person down in a cool shady area; F loosen personal protective clothing and

equipment;
F if the person can drink give them cool

Signs and symptoms


F Very high body temperature (often 40C or

water;
F sponge or spray the casualty with water; F use lower arm cooling (CFA

more);
F red, hot and possibly dry skin; F dry swollen tongue; F weakness or collapse; F reduced conscious state or

recommendation); and
F fan or expose the casualty to a breeze, or

where tted, use the air conditioner in the vehicle cabin. If the casualty is unconscious, position the casualty on his or her side and ensure the airway remains open. Note: it cannot be overstressed, if heat stroke is suspected, urgent medical attention is essential.

unconsciousness;
F rapid pulse and breathing rates; and F seizures (ts).

Seizures may occur in cases of severe heat stroke as the brain becomes severely affected by raised temperature. The vigorous muscle contractions involved in seizures rapidly raise body temperature even further. If seizures occur, the person may die unless immediate cooling is achieved.

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Fireline Safety
Maintaining reghter safety is essential during reground activities. This section provides information that will help keep you and your crew members safe.

You may retreat to safety by either moving directly onto the black where conditions on the re edge permit, or retreat to safety by moving back up the reline to an anchor point.

LACES
LACES is an acronym for Lookouts, Awareness, Communication, Escape Routes, and Safety Zones. It is to be used as a guide to help mitigate the risks that reghters face, including burnover and entrapment during bushre and planned burning operations. The process for implementing LACES is:

Anchor points
While working in bushre situations it is important to work from an anchor point. You need to be able to identify anchor points. As dened in the AFAC Glossary of Rural Fire Terminology, An anchor point is an advantageous location from which a reline can be constructed. It is used to minimise the possibility of being outanked by a re while the line is being constructed. Possible anchor points include:
F bare ground; F blacked out re edge; F the site of a recent bushre that has little or

Lookouts Fire crews shall LOOKOUT and


ensure that they have a clear appreciation of current re behaviour, location and size in relationship to crew location.

Awareness Fireghters shall be aware of


the impact of changes in re behaviour including those resulting from variations to fuel, weather and topography and of other reground hazards.

no vegetation; and
F non-ammable area such as a lake or river.
Scotts Road

Communications All re crews shall follow


the Communications Plan, communicate with your crew and surrounding crews to discuss and address safety issues.

Bush Track

Possible Anchor Points

Escape Routes At least two escape routes


should be agreed and made known all relevant personnel. The suitability of an escape route should be continually reviewed to ensure it remains effective.

Safety Zones Safety zones should be


Figure 53 possible anchor points

Working from a safe anchor point along the black edge gives you the choice of two escape routes in the event that changing re behaviour threatens your immediate safety.

identied and made known all relevant reghters. Fireghters need to consider escape time and safety zone size requirements that will change as re behaviour changes.

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WATCHOUT
WATCHOUT is an acronym used to remind reghters of potential dangers to their safety and to give advice on safe work practices. Understanding the meaning of the acronym will help you perform a more comprehensive risk assessment.

F the weather gets hotter or drier; F there are unburnt fuels between you and

the re;
F terrain or vegetation impedes travel or

visibility;
F in country you have not seen in daylight; F you are unfamiliar with the weather and

Weather dominates re behaviour, so


keep informed.

local re behaviour;
F frequent spot res occur over your control

Actions must be based on current and


expected re behaviour.

line;
F you cannot see the main re or

Try out at least two safe escape routes. Communicate with your supervisor, your
crew and adjoining crews.

communicate with anyone who can;


F unclear instructions or tasks are given; F you feel exhausted or want to take a nap

near the re;


F attacking a re or constructing a re-

Hazards beware of variations in fuels and


steep slopes.

control line without a safe anchor point;


F working alone with no communications

Observe changes in wind speed and


direction, temperature, humidity and cloud.

link to crew members or supervisor;


F you are not fully informed about strategy,

Understand your instructions, make sure


that you are understood.

tactics and hazards;


F safety zones and escape routes have not

Think clearly, be alert and act decisively


before your situation becomes critical. You should familiarise yourself with your agencys current WATCHOUTs.

been identied;
F re not scouted or the potential of the re

has not been assessed; and


F water levels are getting low.

Fireghters watchout when


F building a control line downhill towards a

re;
F on a slope rolling material can ignite fuel

below you;
F the wind changes speed or direction;

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Chapter 1: Safety on the Fireground

Red Flag Warning


A Red Flag Warning is issued when there is a signicant change to any critical information that may adversely affect the safety of personnel. Personnel receiving a Red Flag Warning must:
F immediately acknowledge that they have

1 The Strike Team Leader sends a Red Flag Warning to his or her Crew Leaders. 2 Crew Leaders acknowledges receipt and understanding. 3 Crew Leaders brief their crews. 4 Crew members acknowledge to Crew Leader that the warning has been received and understood. Note: Red Flag Warnings are not a directive to leave the reground. Crew Leaders should consider local knowledge and situation when determining what action to take in response to the warning.

received the warning;


F repeat back the relevant details of the

message to demonstrate that they have understood the message;


F notify personnel under their command and

supervision; and
F obtain an acknowledgement from

Fireground Information Update


The Fireground Information Update is to be used to distribute important and urgent reground information. It is to become the vehicle for the planned distribution of key safety information to all reghters on a routine basis, in a manner that they can predict and readily access. It may be a radio broadcast or printed copy and contains information about:
F weather conditions and forecast changes; F key decisions about reground

personnel under their command and supervision. Figure 54 illustrates how this works.
Strike Team Leader

1
Notification

2
Acknowledge

Crew leaders

sectorisation and control; and


F information about current backburning

3
Notification

4
Acknowledge

operations, for example, location, timing and Ofcer-in-Charge. A Fireground Information Update does not require an acknowledgment process, thus allowing quick and comprehensive distribution of the information. It should be widely distributed to reghters on the reground.

Crews
Figure 54 red ag warning

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10 Standard Fire Orders (CFA)


1 Always stay in contact or tell someone where you are going. Know where the re is and its direction. Know the country or have someone with you who does. Plan an escape route. Park your vehicle in a safe spot. Ensure that your instructions are clear. Build a reline from a safe anchor point. A full set of safety gear is compulsory. Dont panic keep calm and make logical decisions.

Escape plans
Your rst priority is to avoid being placed in a life threatening situation. However, you must always have a contingency plan to prepare for the possibility of entrapment.
F Know the terrain you are travelling into; F identify at least two escape routes which

2 3

4 5 6 7 8 9

will lead to a safety zone;


F know, understand and comply with the

Incident Chain of Command;


F know and comply with the agreed

Communications Plan and your correct radio channel;


F only use the most experienced drivers in

difcult terrain;
F study maps of the area where you may

10 Accidents and ill-health can endanger all the crew.

be required to assist in a reght (prior to deployment if possible);


F pre-plan individual roles within the crew in

Danger signs
Signs that may give advance warning of an increase in the rapid development of a re, with a resulting change in the rate of spread include:
F a change in wind direction and/or increase

the case of life threatening situations;


F note clear areas along tracks or areas with

less vegetation, where you would be better placed for the safety of your tanker and crew;
F be aware that some areas are too

in wind strength; and


F relative humidity has dropped.

Note: you should seek conrmation through the chain of command if there is a sudden increase or drop in wind strength as this could indicate that a change in wind direction is about to occur.

dangerous to enter, and tracks too steep for any vehicles to travel on if in doubt check on foot if it is safe to do so; and
F do not travel on dead-end tracks.

Note: an escape plan is of little or no value unless it is actioned at the rst signs of an approaching dangerous situation.

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Taking Refuge in Life Threatening Situations


Even during normal reghting activities, radiant heat is a potential killer. You are in real trouble if radiant heat enters your body faster than you can maintain your core body temperature by sweating. As ame height increases so does radiant heat. In cases of sudden are ups, you may collapse and die within minutes if you do not nd shelter. As radiant heat only travels in straight lines from its source, taking refuge behind a solid object will shield you from the radiant heat. Cover all exposed skin, keep as low as possible and lay face down until the are-up subsides. Objects that may shield you from radiated heat include:
F structures; F vehicles; F heavy machinery, for example, a bulldozer; F large rocky outcrops;

F earth mounds, trenches, caves, tunnels; F dams lakes concrete swimming pools or

water tanks;
F wet gullies creeks and rivers; and F large trees or logs.

Here are some principles to consider when taking refuge:


F you need to have a plan; F you need to action a your plan at the

rst signs of an approaching dangerous situation;


F communicate your situation; F radiant heat only travel in straight lines so

take refuge behind a solid object;


F nd an area where the re behaviour

will be minimised such as the black,fuel reduced areas, wet areas such as gullies creeks or dams;
F cover all exposed skin; and F keep low and lay face down if possible.

Note: your priority should be to avoid being placed in a life threatening situation. If, having taken all precaution, you nd yourself in a life threatening situation the following actions should be considered and should be carried out in accordance with your agencys operating procedures.

Taking refuge in a structure


If crews are in imminent danger in a bushre situation, a house or similar sized structure can provide you with adequate shelter from embers, radiant heat and ames. Such a building might eventually burn, but it can protect you until the main re danger passes.

Figure 55 large rocky outcrops may offer some protection from radiant heat

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So you need to have a fall back option planned for this eventuality by having two escape routes to your next safe area. To gain immediate radio attention send a MAYDAY message giving your location and the number of persons taking refuge. Your radio transmission will have priority over all others. It is important to remain outside the building for as long as possible. In the early stages of the re, there may be a shower of sparks and embers blown towards the building. By remaining outside for as long as possible you can:
F extinguish any small outbreaks; F wet down the immediate area; F remove or protect any fuels that may be

F watch for and extinguish any outbreaks

of re, especially on windowsills and verandas or timber decks as the heat will dry out timber surfaces, making them more likely to ignite from ember attack; and
F if the building should catch re and the

main re has passed, wrap yourself in a dry re blanket, exit the building and implement the fallback part of your plan. If necessary, take refuge on foot. Once the re front passes, it should be safe enough to move outside and quickly extinguish any outbreaks and wet down any smouldering materials. This will help to prevent the house or building burning down. You should remain alert to any possible outbreaks.

adjacent to the building, for example, gas cylinders, rewood and awnings; and
F if time permits, wet down the gutters.

Taking refuge in a vehicle


The following information provides general guidelines when taking refuge in a vehicle. For agency-specic details all current related organisational procedures must be understood and followed. This ensures crews are familiar with crew protection entrapment procedures and systems applicable to their vehicle. Fireghting tankers and support vehicles, such as those used by Strike Team/Task Force Leaders, Sector Commanders and Ground Observers provide an increased level of protection from ames and radiant heat compared to being caught on foot in the open. However, it must be clearly understood that the level of protection provided does have signicant limitations, governed by re intensity.

When you are forced to move indoors:


F take in a hose and ttings if you know

that the tting attached to the end of the hose can be coupled to an internal tap, for example the washing machine tap in the laundry;
F shut all windows and doors; be aware that

embers can also enter buildings through ventilation covers, sub-oor spaces and under doors and eaves;
F soak towels and rags with water in case

you need to extinguish small res and ll available containers, buckets and baths (if applicable);

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Crews in vehicles with limited crew protection capability should, if possible, move to a location where tankers can provide additional protection capability in accordance with organisational procedures. In addition to the cabin, some tankers have a crew protection area on the rear in which personnel may take short-term shelter from an approaching re. Note: it is important that crews are familiar with the crew protection standard operating procedures applicable to their vehicle.

F where tted, operate the air conditioner on

the recirculate setting;


F ensure all personal protective clothing is

worn and properly adjusted, and all areas of exposed skin are covered;
F get down as low as possible in the cabin

(if possible keeping below the bottom of the windscreen) and cover yourself fully with a dry re blanket;

Taking refuge in the cabin of any vehicle


Your Crew Leader will normally supervise the emergency personal protection procedure.
F If you are in grave and imminent danger,

send a MAYDAY message to gain immediate radio attention;


F give continuous blasts on the horn as a

warning signal and instruction for crew members to return to the vehicle;
F ensure all crew members are aware of the

nature of the impending danger;


F park your vehicle in an area of least

Figure 56 taking refuge in the cabin of a vehicle (door open for display purposes only)

combustible fuel, preferably on burnt or bare ground, in a quarry pit, wet gully or cutting and away from surrounding or overhanging trees or other vegetation;
F park your vehicle so as to minimise the

F when the re front has passed, extinguish

any res on or around the vehicle that may be a threat to your safety; and
F advise your commander or supervisor

when the danger has passed. Note: never wet the re blanket unless a continuous water supply can be maintained. A wet blanket offers less protection than a dry blanket unless it can be kept wet.

impact of radiant heat to the crew and the pump area;


F wind up all windows, close vents, turn on

headlights and hazard lights, leave/start engine running;

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Taking refuge on the rear deck of a tanker


Actions taken on the rear deck of a tanker are performed in conjunction with the actions taken in the cabin. Each tanker is different and you should refer to your organisational procedures for each model.
F Ensure the pump is running; F take refuge from the approaching re by

Options may include:


F if time permits, leaving the area via escape

routes to a safety zone. If you are in grave and imminent danger, send a MAYDAY message to gain immediate radio attention;
F contacting other crews for help; F requesting air support; F stopping on clear ground or in an area of

getting down low behind protective heat shields;


F ensure all personal protective clothing is

low fuel;
F clearing the ground around the dozer; F nding an area of burnt ground on which

worn and properly adjusted, and all areas of exposed skin are covered;
F cover up with a dry re blanket; F to conserve water, wait until the re

to park;
F digging a trench and pushing/mounding

earth ahead of the dozer towards the re;


F parking the dozer over the trench and

approaches then activate your crew protection spray system; or


F in vehicles not tted with a crew/vehicle

lowering the blade and rippers to provide protection from radiant heat;
F turning the engine off (if the manufactures

protection spray system use the following as a guide; open and adjust the nozzles to a wide angle fog and extend the nozzle above the heat shield level to allow water fog to cover the rear, cabin and an area around your tanker; and
F when the main re has passed, extinguish

specications recommend this) to reduce the risk of sparks being drawn into air lters;
F keep your helmet on; F cover all bare skin with protective clothing; F take refuge under the dozer, get down low

any res on or near the vehicle that may be a threat to your safety.

in the trench between the tracks and cover yourself with a dry re blanket;
F breathe through your mouth using a towel

Taking refuge with a dozer


Refer to the DSE videos, The Line in the Bush and Fireline Safety y for further information. If machine operators and/or support crew face entrapment by re, they should consider the options and evaluate the risk.

or handkerchief, if air is hot, breathe in short shallow breaths; and


F stay under the dozer until the re passes.

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Figure 58 taking shelter from radiant heat

F as res travel faster uphill, try to cut across

Figure 57 dozer operator taking refuge under a dozer

a slope out of the path of the head of the re do not try to outrun the re uphill unless you are certain a safe refuge is close by try to reach bare or burnt ground towards the back of the re; do not run through ames unless you are able to see the ground on the other side and they are low enough for you to safely cross breaks may occur where there is less fuel;
F shallow water storages such as dams,

Taking refuge when on foot


The position you choose to take refuge will determine whether you survive the burn over. If you are on foot and are not in the vicinity of a vehicle or structure, you should consider the following actions.
F Remain calm and do not panic do not run

blindly from the re as exhaustion makes you prone to heat related illnesses and collapse;
F if you are in grave and imminent danger,

lakes, concrete tanks and swimming pools or laying low in a wet gully, running water in a creek or river may offer a safe refuge; and
F as a last resort, clear a survival area by

send a MAYDAY message to gain immediate radio attention;


F look after fellow crew members; F protect yourself from radiant heat by wearing

protective clothing and covering all bare skin with non combustible materials or loose earth. Stay in this position until the main intensity of the re has passed;
F to avoid breathing superheated air, keep

removing fuel and sheltering behind a large solid object such as a large rock outcrop if possible, or lay face down in a depression, stump hole, trench, culvert, cave or in a drain.

low to the ground where the air may be cleaner and cooler;

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Injury and Near Miss Reporting


It is important to report all injuries and near miss events. Reporting of these events enables all levels of management at the incident to review the circumstances surrounding the injury or near miss and where possible implement steps to prevent a reoccurrence. This information gains increased importance within the Incident Management Team as trends or potential serious gaps can be identied when reviewing the combined reports and where possible implement steps to rectify the causes. These preventatives steps may involve:
F inclusion of key safety strategies in the

Reporting process
F Where an injury or near miss occurs this

should initially be reported to the Crew Leader.


F Details should then be recorded on the

relevant agencys Incident Report Form in accordance with the agencys process.
F These documents should be handed to

the Staging Area Manager on return for forwarding to the Logistics Ofcer or other designated person nominated by the Incident Controller.
F For serious injuries or near misses these

should be immediately reported to the Incident Controller via the chain of command. Note: a serious event is one that has resulted in or had the potential to cause person(s) to require specialist medical treatment (not rst aid), hospitalisation, or death. Remember the information provided in injury or near miss reports may prevent one of your fellow reghters or crews from being seriously injured.

Incident Action Plan for the next days deployments;


F provision of critical safety information

which may include Red Flag Warnings; Fireground Information Updates; crew changeover briengs; Safety Alerts; and bulletin boards updates; and
F changes to practices in the provision of

crew welfare, for example, to prevent dehydration or food contamination. In addition the information from all incidents is reviewed by the agency to monitor state trends and effectiveness of preventative strategies.

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Notes

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Chapter 1 Summary
F Safety is the priority. People who are

how often you are exposed to a hazard; the possible consequences of exposure; and whether there are regulations related to the hazard.
F On the reground you will be required

committed to safety will supervise you.


F Emergency operations are dynamic and

unpredictable thereby making tasks inherently dangerous.


F Safety First reghter safety must be

given priority over all other re suppression considerations and activities.


F Fireghters make judgements based on

knowledge, skills, training and experience.


F In order to determine what are acceptable

risks, reghters must review the likelihood and consequence of an event occurring.
F Safe person approach is the responsibility

to constantly monitor the changing conditions and perform a dynamic assessment of the risk, utilising your knowledge and understanding of reground hazards including the risk mitigation systems WATCHOUTS and LACES.
F Brightly coloured and ame retardant

of the organisation and every individual. It applies to all workplace/ reground activities.
F A dynamic risk assessment is used in

overalls or jacket and over trouser are worn in a bushre situation to protect against: radiant heat; minor burns; sunburn; abrasions; lacerations; hot embers; and poor visibility.
F Personal protective clothing is designed

the response, during and closing phases of incidents.


F CFA and DSE risk assessment systems

are designed to be done in your head.


F Dynamic Assessment of Risk is the

process followed in DSE. The process means you identify the hazards and assess the risk that hazard poses to your safety and the likelihood of it actually occurring. Assessing the risk associated with identied hazards should involve thinking about: the likelihood of harm occurring;

to be loose tting to allow maximum movement and airow to aid cooling.

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F Personal protective clothing should

F Bushre boots and structural boots are

be worn over minimal loose tting undergarments.


F Do not under any circumstances take off

both suitable for bushre reghting.


F Leather gloves with an extended wrist cuff

are worn at a bushre to: protect hands from abrasions, cuts, wounds, burns, splinters and blisters; prevent cross-contamination risks if handling casualties (double gloving); reduce exposure when handling reghting chemicals; increase grip; protect against heat; and provide protection to the wrists.
F Personal protective equipment used by

personal protective clothing while on the reground in an attempt to cool down.


F A bushre helmet, which is tted with a

neck and ear protection ap, protects your head from: radiant heat; high temperatures; ash and embers; impact and puncture injuries; splash from Class A foam, wetting agents and chemicals; being struck by hand tools; contact with electrical hazards; and steam or scalding water created during reghting operations.
F CFA bushre helmets must be worn with

bushre reghters includes items for respiratory, eye, and hearing protection.
F Class P2 particulate lter masks provide

the inner harness adjusted and the chin strap in place.


F CFA helmets are to be removed and

reasonable protection to the nose, throat and lungs from ash and larger airborne particles that may be present in smoke or dust.
F Respirators are not to be used

when reghting.
F Eye protection prevents eye injuries and

securely stowed when travelling en route and from a re.


F Fireghting boots increase your grip on

wet/oily surfaces, keep your feet dry, provide support for the foot and ankle, and are designed to protect your feet from: radiant heat; burning embers and hot coals; sharp objects, cuts and abrasions; and some chemicals.

irritation from impacts, airborne particles, heat and water and chemical splashes. In a bushre situation, bushre goggles offer the best protection.
F Earmuffs or earplugs are worn for hearing

protection when operating or working near noisy equipment. When wearing ear protection, it is important to be alert and look for visual signals as you can become isolated from what is going on around you.

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F Hearing protection is available for a variety

spot res; changes in weather and re behaviour; working near power lines; working around vehicles and heavy machinery; chainsaws; working around aircraft; rebombing; Class A Foam; and retardants.
F When working around hazardous trees

of different noise levels and types, so you must ensure that the correct hearing protection is used for a specic hazard. In addition, it must be compatible with eye and head protection equipment.
F Damaged or worn out clothing and gloves

should be replaced. Gloves contaminated with chemicals or biological waste should be disposed of or decontaminated.
F All personal protective equipment

should be used, maintained, repaired, and replaced in accordance with manufacturers instructions.
F Potential hazards at a bushre are different

from those of structural reghting. Only use appropriate personal protective clothing and equipment.
F Fireghters should familiarise themselves

with the safety features tted on their reghting appliances.


F Bushre hazards include:

it is important to recognise the hazards posed by falling trees and branches. The most effective ways to reduce the risks associated with hazardous trees is to avoid being in the area or wherever possible, prevent potentially hazardous trees being further weakened by re.
F Indicators that a tree may be hazardous

include: the base of the tree has been impacted by re with greater than 50% burnt out; the tree is currently on re; if greater than 50% burnt out and spiral cracks are present it represents a high risk; the tree has re ash at its base; the base of the tree displays soil heave, indicating that it has moved; and the tree has broken limbs still in the tree or on the ground around the tree.

lifting or moving heavy or awkwardly shaped objects; natural hazards; fencing; terrain; hazardous tree; dangerous rocks; mine shafts; trip/slip hazards; reduced visibility; smoke and dust; radiant heat;

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Chapter 1: Safety on the Fireground

F When seeing a tree that you think is

close off road or track; and turn on headlights.


F Watch out for mine shafts, and carry a

hazardous, you should immediately: alert all the people who are working in the immediate area; and advise your Crew Leader, who will then report the location of the suspect tree up the chain of command and arrange for it to be appropriately marked then mitigated by DSE.
F CFA crews, under direction of their Crew

torch at night when working in areas where mine shafts may be concealed.
F Always consider downed electrical wires,

as well as the ground surface for several metres around the area where the wire is making contact, to be live.
F Working near or around power lines at a

Leader will deploy re tape at least two tree lengths from the hazardous tree or across any access track to isolate the hazardous tree.
F DSE crews will implement the DSE

bushre presents dangers: do not approach within 8 m of an area where there are downed live wires, or distribution power lines or within 20 m of transmission towers that are covered in smoke; cordon off the area; and call the power company to turn off the power supply.
F You should avoid working under overhead

hazardous tree guideline on assessing and marking hazardous trees


F CFA members will not mark hazardous

trees. DSE will conduct this task.


F Familiarise yourself with the markings used

to indicate hazardous trees.


F When seeing a marked hazardous tree,

modify your plans to ensure that you reduce the potential impact if the tree or branch(s) fall.
F Watch out for falling or rolling rocks and

high voltage power or transmission lines when dense smoke is present as electricity may short circuit to ground through smoke without making direct ground contact.
F You should always look out for the hazards

the domino effect.


F Poor visibility can often result from dust

posed by vehicles while working around, or travelling in, them.


F Do not jump from vehicles. F Heavy machinery creates its own unique

stirred up by earth moving equipment. If visibility is poor due to dust and/or smoke, the following actions should be taken: use appropriate personal protective equipment; make an exclusion zone around the machine;

set of hazards, with many having restricted elds of vision to the front and rear and make it extremely difcult for the operator to hear over the noise of the machine.

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F Personnel working near heavy machinery

F When working around aircraft:

risk being crushed if the machine operator is not aware of them. Always ensure the operator is aware of your location.
F Always work more than two tree lengths

always be aware of the propellers and stay away from moving parts; stay in the pilots eld of view at all times; wear the correct protective clothing and equipment; carry headgear unless chin straps are secured; ensure that no loose objects are near the aircraft or landing areas; remain well clear of landing and take off areas; approach, board and disembark from the aircraft in the correct manner and only when the pilot signals; carry equipment horizontally, held rmly below the waist, using two people to carry long objects; comply with any no step panel markings when boarding and leaving aircraft; and always follow instructions given by the pilot, ight crew, or aircraft marshall.
F When working around aircraft, do not:

from heavy machinery and never down slope.


F Do not operate a chainsaw unless you are

trained and endorsed to use one and are wearing the correct protective clothing. Correct protective clothing for chainsaw operation includes: helmet; face shield/eye protection; ear protection; gloves; chainsaw trousers or chaps; high visibility personal protective clothing; and steel cap safety boots.
F Aircraft can be used at an incident for the

following purposes: detecting res; applying water retardants or suppressants; aerial ignition of fuel; transporting crews and equipment; observing and mapping res; and aircraft management, for example, bomber coordination and drop procedures.

smoke in or within 30 m of an aircraft, fuel dump or refuelling equipment; mishandle aircraft equipment; or approach a helicopter before the rotors have completely stopped or started unless directed by the pilot and then in accordance with agency proceedures.

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F While travelling in aircraft, reghters must

irritability and frequent mood swings; memories and ashbacks; physical tiredness; loss of appetite; loss of sexual interest; sleep disturbance; and social withdrawal such as a need to be alone.
F Exposure to smoke and dust reduces your

follow the instructions given by the pilot and ight crew. In an emergency situation, follow the pilots or crew members directions immediately.
F Before travelling in aircraft, ensure that you

are briefed on the procedure for opening doors and fastening seat belts.
F Ground personnel must stay clear of

rebombing drop zones. Actions to take if caught in a rebombing drop zone are: place hand tools well clear of you; secure your hard hat or helmet, or protect your head with your arms; move away from the rebombing drop zone; watch your footing; watch out for falling branches and debris; and if hit with foam or retardant, wash off with cold water.
F If you have an existing medical condition,

performance and brings on mental and physical exhaustion more quickly avoid unnecessary exposure.
F Physical and mental exhaustion impairs a

reghters performance and safety at an incident. It can occur if you are working for prolonged periods of time and have not had adequate rest, sleep, food and uids.
F The symptoms of physical or mental

exhaustion include slowness to react, impaired judgement, poor concentration and erratic performance.
F Dehydration will occur if uids and

you should seek medical advice prior to attending an incident.


F Fireghters suffering any form of illness on

electrolytes lost through perspiration are not replaced.


F The recommended ration of water to

the reline should seek medical attention as soon as possible.


F It is important for responders to

understand that they may have certain unexpected critical incident stress reactions to their participation at an incident. These reactions may include: anger; depression; difculty concentrating;

electrolyte replacement drink/powder per hour is 2:1. The workload will inuence how much to drink. During a heavy workload, you should drink up to 1200 ml water and 600 ml electrolyte replacement drink/powder every hour.
F Avoid milky or fat-containing drinks, or

drinks containing high sugar levels.


F Never drink alcohol on the reground.

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F Sunburn although not life threatening can

F Heat stroke is the most severe form of heat

be painful and reduce the effectiveness of your crew.


F Heat related illnesses can be

related illness. Symptoms include: high body temperature; red, hot and possibly dry skin; reduced conscious state or unconscious; rapid pulse and breathing; and in severe cases, seizures/ts.
F If in doubt , seek urgent medical attention

life threatening.
F The body normally controls its temperature

by perspiring.
F Heat related illnesses occur when the

body overheats and loses too much body uid.


F To avoid heat related illness, adequate

uid intake to replace any uid and electrolytes that have been lost through perspiration is vital.
F Heat related illnesses in order of severity:

severe heat-related illness can rapidly lead to death.


F Never work alone. F An anchor point as dened in the AFAC

heat cramps; heat stress; heat exhaustion; and heat stroke.


F Minimise the risk by taking regular

Glossary of Rural Fire Terminology y is an advantageous location from which a reline can be constructed. It is used to minimise the possibility of being out anked by a re while the line is being constructed.
F LACES is an acronym for:

breaks, loosen clothing to allow more air circulation and maintain adequate uid intake.
F People suffering from heat related illnesses

Lookouts. Awareness. Communications. Escape Routes. Safety Zones.

may not realise it look out for each other.


F For all heat related illnesses, it is important

to cool the casualty and replace body uids. You should: move the casualty to the shade or away from the incident and loosen or remove clothing; fan and sponge the casualty, give frequent sips of water; and seek medical attention where required.

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F WATCHOUT on the reline:

communicate your situation; radiant heat only travel in straight lines so take refuge behind a solid object; nd an area where the re behaviour will be minimised such as the black, fuel reduced areas, wet areas such as gullies creeks or dams; cover all exposed skin; and keep low and lay face down if possible.
F To take refuge in a structure, remain

Weather dominates re behaviour, so keep informed. Actions must be based on current and expected re behaviour. Try out at least two safe escape routes. Communicate with your supervisor, your crew and adjoining crews. Hazards beware of variations in fuels and steep slopes. Observe changes in wind speed and direction, temperature, humidity and cloud. Understand your instructions, make sure that you are understood. Think clearly, be alert and act decisively before your situation becomes critical.
F A Red Flag Warning is issued when there

outside the structure for as long as possible, extinguishing any small outbreaks, wetting down the immediate area, removing or protecting any fuels adjacent to the building, and, if time permits, wet gutters with water.
F When you are forced to take

refuge indoors: take in a hose and ttings if you know that the tting attached to the end of the hose can be coupled to an internal tap; soak towels and rags and ll available containers with water; and watch for and extinguish any outbreaks of re, especially in the roof, ceiling, windowsills, and verandas or timber decks.
F If the building should catch re, when the

is a signicant change to any critical information that may adversely affect the safety of personnel.
F Taking refuge is a last resort. Your priority

should be to avoid being placed in a lifethreatening situation.


F In order to minimise risk of exposure to

radiant heat when reghting, you need to maintain a comfortable distance from the heat source. Four times the ame height is the accepted comfortable distance.
F The main principles when taking refuge are;

main re has passed, wrap yourself in a dry re blanket and exit the building and take refuge.
F To take refuge in the cabin of a vehicle:

you need to have a plan; you need to action your plan at the rst signs of an approaching dangerous situation;

give continuous blasts on the horn; ensure that all crew members are aware of the impending danger;

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park your vehicle in an area of least combustible fuel so as to minimise the impact of radiant heat to the crew and the pump area; wind up all windows, close vents, turn the air conditioner to recirculate, turn on headlights and hazard lights and leave the engine running; ensure proper adjustment of all personal protective clothing and cover all exposed skin; if in grave and imminent danger, send a MAYDAY message to gain immediate radio attention; get down as low as possible in the cabin and cover yourself fully with a re blanket; when the re front has passed, extinguish any res on or around the vehicle; and advise your Incident Control Centre when the danger has passed.
F If you are on the rear deck of a tanker and

F To use a dozer for refuge:

nd or clear an area using the mound and trench method; park the dozer behind the mound; lower the blade and rippers; get down low in the trench behind the blade, tracks, or actually under the dozer; and cover yourself with loose earth and a re blanket.
F If you must take refuge while on foot,

clear a survival area by removing fuel and take shelter behind a large solid object, in a depression, stump hole, or drain. Lie down, ensuring all exposed skin is covered. If available completely cover yourself with a re blanket, or alternatively take refuge in a stream, lake or dam.
F stay low to avoid breathing

superheated air.

must take refuge: ensure the pump is running; activate crew protection spray system and awning on the deck where tted; remain low behind protective heat shields or sit in the roll over protection system (ROPS); and cover up with a dry re blanket.
F When the re approaches, open nozzles

to wide angle fog and extend above heat shield level. When the main re has passed, extinguish any res on or near the vehicle.

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Notes

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Chapter 2 Fire Science


Extinguishing media work to suppress re by removing heat, oxygen and/or fuel to interrupt the chain reaction of combustion. A knowledge of the combustion process and how heat from res is transferred will assist reghters in selecting an appropriate extinguishing media and the correct method of application for the type and size of re encountered. This chapter will cover: F combustion (re); F heat transfer; F re intensity; and F methods of extinguishment.

Combustion (Fire)
Combustion is a chemical reaction that gives off heat, light and/or ames. Combustion (or re) initially takes place when the vapours given off by a combustible material combine with sufcient heat and oxygen (air) to ignite. In re suppression, it is important for reghters to understand that combustion may take place without ames (as with hot coals and deep seated underground res). The components that must be present to bring about the chemical reaction of combustion are illustrated by the re triangle.

F Oxygen is a colourless, odourless gas

which makes up about one fth of the volume of the atmosphere (the air we breathe) and is necessary for a fuel to burn.
F Heat every fuel has a particular

temperature at which it will begin to burn, known as its ignition temperature. A source of heat, such as a naked ame, is required to bring a fuel to its ignition temperature.
F Fuel is any material such as grass, leaf

litter and live vegetation which can be ignited and sustains re.

GE

The re triangle
The re triangle depicts the three basic components necessary for a re to ignite, burn and continue to burn.

HE AT

OX Y
FUEL

the re triangle

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Chapter 2: Fire Science

The re tetrahedron
A fourth component is also present during combustion a chemical chain reaction. In the combustion process, a chemical chain reaction occurs between the fuel and oxygen and is promoted by heat. This reaction is essential to sustaining combustion. If the chemical chain reaction is interrupted, the re will be extinguished.

Heat Transfer
Heat is transferred in three ways, by:
F radiation; F convection; and F conduction.

Radiation
In the context of heat transfer, radiation is a form of heat energy that travels in straight lines in all directions from its source. It is the direct heat you feel from a re and comes from the ames and any smouldering fuel or heated surface.

Fuel

Heat

Chemical chain reaction

Oxygen

Figure 60 the re tetrahedron

The re tetrahedron is commonly depicted as per Figure 60. It builds on the re triangle to show that re requires the interaction of:
F oxygen; F heat; F fuel; and F a chemical chain reaction.

radiation of heat in all directions

Burning fuel and ames radiate large amounts of heat which will act on fuel immediately around the re, preheating and drying out fuel, and may bring that fuel to a temperature where it ignites. The intensity of radiant heat will drop with increasing distance from its source. Radiant heat does not need a medium to travel through.

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Convection
Convection is the transfer of heat through the heating of air causing it to rise.

F hot air rising from a re often carries

pieces of burning fuel with it these can be carried forward, or in other directions away from the re, causing small res to start well ahead of, or in different areas from, the main re. This is called spotting.

Conduction
Conduction is the transfer of heat through a solid object from a region of higher temperature to a region of lower temperature.
Indraught wind Indraught wind

Figure 62 convection (hot air rises)

As air rises and moves sideways with the wind, it will carry heat with it, gradually losing it to the cooler surrounding air. As a re gains in intensity, the air above it is heated to an even greater temperature, so the air rises faster. Cooler air must move in towards the re at ground level to replace this heated air. This is known as indraught wind. It is this process that forms the convection column of rising hot air and the smoke plume above the re. The convection column can carry ash, embers and small pieces of burning fuel. Convection has important implications for reghters:
F large res may create strong indraught
Figure 63 conduction of heat through a solid object

Different substances conduct heat at different rates. For example, metals are more effective conductors of heat than wood. In bushres, conduction refers to the movement of heat through the fuel itself. Note: conduction is more signicant for reghters operating in structural re environments.

winds which may alter expected re behaviour; and

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Fire Intensity
Fire intensity is a function of the amount of fuel burnt, the energy value of the fuel and the rate of spread of the re. In general terms the indicators of intensity may be ame length depending on how far they are leaning over and ame height.
Flame flashes Prevailing wind

Fire intensity

Very high >14 m

High

7m Moderate 1.5 m Low

Figure 65 ame height/re intensity


Flame height Flame length

Ash Flame angle

Flame depth

Figure 64 ame height/depth/angle perspective

It is useful to know the indicators of intensity as the intensity of the re may dictate the method of attack used.
F Low intensity parts of res have an

When using ame height as an indicator of a res intensity, always consider the effect of prevailing winds. These winds may cause ames to lean over, giving the appearance of less height (implying a lower intensity) for given fuel and conditions. While appearing lower, the increase in the depth of the ames may result in a re intensity normally associated with much higher ames.

average ame height of less than 1.5 m.


F Moderate intensity parts of res have an

average ame height of 1.57 m.


F High intensity parts of res have an

average ame height of 714 m.


F Very high intensity parts of res have an

average ame height greater than 14 m. The ames from an intense surface re may progressively consume elevated shrub and bark fuels, and may eventually reach and ignite the crowns of trees.

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Methods of Extinguishment
There are three basic methods of extinguishing a re, each designed to break the re triangle. You can:
F cut off the oxygen supply to smother

Cutting off the oxygen supply


This is an efcient form of attack when dealing with small res. However, cutting off the oxygen supply of a large re in the open is usually too difcult. Fireghters can cut off the oxygen supply to a small re by:
F shovelling soil onto a re. This is generally

the re;
F reduce the temperature to cool the re;

and/or
F remove the fuel from the path of the re to

starve the re. In addition to the three methods identied above, the chemical chain reaction may also be interrupted by the application of a re retardant chemical. Refer to the topic Extinguishing Mediums in Chapter 7. Note: in many instances, a combination of these methods is used to extinguish a re.

considered ineffective for bushre reghting as in most cases this will put the ames out but embers may continue to burn slowly and reignite again later; or
F applying Class A foam over the fuels to

smother the re. Foam has the additional benets of cooling and isolating the fuel as water drains from the foam effectively attacking all sides of the re triangle.

EN OX

FUEL

Figure 66 cutting off the oxygen supply using Class A foam

HE AT

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Reducing the temperature


Heat causes fuel to give off vapours. These vapours burn. To interrupt this process you need to remove the heat. The main purpose of using water when ghting res is to cool the fuel to the point where combustion stops. This is an effective way of extinguishing a small re. When water is applied to a re it:
F absorbs heat energy and removes heat as

Removing the fuel


Removing the fuel may be an effective way of stopping a re.

the water turns to steam; and


F cools the fuel to a temperature below its

ignition temperature. Applying water only to the ames will not stop the process, as the fuel will simply continue to give off vapours. Water must be directed at the base of the ames onto the burning fuel.

Figure 68 remove fuel to stop a re

Dry reghting is a term used to describe the suppression of re without the use of water. Examples of dry reghting include:
F using hand tools to break up fuel or

remove it to create a control line;


F using machinery, for example, bulldozers
OX YG E

to create a wider control line or to clear a large area;


F deliberate burning out of unburnt fuel
Figure 67 reducing the temperature

FUEL

Applying water to unburnt fuel increases its moisture content and makes it harder for it to reach its ignition temperature.

HE AT

between the control line and the re edge, and unburnt pockets within the re perimeter; and
F backburning along the inner edge of a

control line to consume the fuel in the path of a bushre. Note: backburning will only be carried out when authorised by the Incident Controller and under the strict supervision of your Crew Leader.

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Chapter 2 Summary
F The re triangle depicts the three basic F Conduction refers to the transfer of heat

components necessary for a re to ignite and continue to burn: oxygen; heat; and fuel.
F Fuel is anything that will burn under

through solid objects from a region of higher temperature to a region of lower temperature.
F The ame height and depth of a re are

useful indicators of a res intensity.


F Three methods of extinguishing a re are:

suitable conditions.
F The ignition temperature of a fuel is the

cut off the oxygen supply to smother the re; reduce the temperature of the fuel to cool the re; and remove the fuel from the path of the re to starve the re.
F A combination of methods is often used to

particular temperature at which it begins to burn.


F The chemical chain reaction, essential to

sustaining combustion, occurs between the fuel and oxygen and is promoted by heat.
F Heat is transferred by:

control a re.
F Dry reghting is the term used to

radiation; convection; and conduction.


F Radiation is a form of heat energy that

describe reghting techniques that do not involve water.

travels in a straight path outward in all directions from its source.


F Convection is the transfer of heat through

air causing it to rise. As hot air rises, it carries heat with it, gradually losing this heat to the surrounding air.

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Notes

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Chapter 3 Bushre Behaviour


Bushre behaviour and bushre spread can alter dramatically depending on changes in fuel, weather and topography. These are the three main factors that inuence bushre behaviour. An understanding of how these factors inuence bushre behaviour is crucial in predicting bushre spread and therefore, planning and conducting bushre suppression activities. This chapter will cover: F fuel; F weather; and F topography.

Fuel
Fuel is one of the most important factors that inuences the way re behaves and travels. Variations in fuel will also inuence the risk to reghter safety and reghting suppression activities. Fuel varies in its:
F type; F size; F quantity; F arrangement; and F moisture content.

F slash (tree residue remaining after logging); F decomposing humus and duff (ne ground

litter); and
F plantation prunings.

Ferns and forest litter

Grass

Type
Common types of fuel involved in a bushre include:
F grass; F forest litter lying on the ground; F small shrubs and scrub; F trees, logs, stumps and bark;
Stringy bark and scrub Ribbon bark

Figure 69 different fuel types and the resulting re

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Chapter 3: Bushre Behaviour

Given the right conditions, most of these fuels will readily ignite and burn at differing rates and degrees of intensity.

Size
Fuel is normally classied as ne or heavy (coarse) in relation to size. Fine fuels are less than 6 mm in diameter, that is, thinner than a pencil. Fine fuels include leaves, twigs, grasses and some tree barks. They ignite easily and burn readily. Heavy (or coarse) fuels are greater than 6 mm in diameter, that is, thicker than a pencil. Examples include sticks, branches logs and stumps. Coarse fuels tend to ignite less readily, burn more slowly and burn for much longer periods.

Fuels that are tightly packed, either vertically or horizontally, for example, cut hay or heavy leaf litter, or compacted fuels such as hay bales or peat will smoulder due to a lack of oxygen. Loosely arranged and continuous fuels are more likely to burn ercely as more oxygen is available to promote combustion, for example, uncut grass, or hay closely grouped and standing. Well separated fuel, such as sparse tussock grassland, are harder to ignite than more closely grouped collections of fuel because of reduced ame contact and radiant heat. A continuous ladder of ne fuel from the ground surface to the crown of the vegetation encourages the development of crown res.

Quantity
The more fuel there is, the greater the re intensity. For example, doubling the quantity of fuel would increase the intensity of the re four times.

Arrangement
The way pieces of fuel are arranged in relation to one another will affect how they burn.

Figure 71 example of ladder type fuel, Ribbon bark


Hay bale Field of hay

Figure 70 arrangement (same fuel, different arrangement)

It is important to understand different fuel types and different burning characteristics because of their oils, waxes and resisns.

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Moisture content
Fire behaviour is affected by how dry fuels are, that is, their moisture content. The moisture content will vary depending on factors such as weather conditions, vegetation type, and whether the fuel is dead or living vegetation. All dead fuels take up or give off moisture according to the:
F daily temperature and relative humidity

A practical method that can be used by reghters to assess whether fuel moisture content is low, is the crackle test. This involves walking across the ground litter the sharper the crackle sound, the drier the fuel. Remember: the crackle sound as you walk through ne fuels is a good indication of the fuel moisture content the sharper the crackle, the drier the fuel.

Weather
Weather is a major factor that impacts on re behaviour. The key elements of weather are:
F air temperature; F relative humidity; F wind (speed and direction); and F atmospheric stability.

cycles. Fine dead fuels change their moisture content rapidly in response to these cycles, while heavy dead fuels change slowly and rarely reach extremes of wetness or dryness; and
F time since last rainfall and the amount

of rain received over several days the effects of recent rainfall will disappear; this happens more rapidly in ne fuels than in heavy fuels. The moisture content of fuels affects:
F ease of ignition; F probability of spotting; F rate of combustion; F rate of re spread; and F amount of heat radiated from the ames.

Air temperature
The sun warms fuels, land surface and the surrounding air, raising their temperature. An increase in temperature, and the resulting decrease in relative humidity, will reduce fuel moisture content making it easier for fuel to ignite.

Relative humidity
There is always a certain amount of water vapour in the air. Relative humidity (RH) is a measure of the actual water vapour content of the air, expressed as a percentage of its maximum water vapour holding capacity (at the same temperature).

Measuring fuel moisture content


It is important for you as a reghter to be able to recognise when fuel moisture content is low. Fuel moisture is not easy to estimate in the eld without appropriate equipment.

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A high RH gure indicates a high level of water vapour in the air; a low RH indicates a low level of water vapour in the air. In humid air (high RH), ne dead fuels will absorb moisture from the air (adsorption) and will therefore burn more slowly, or may not burn at all. In dry air conditions (low RH), moisture is drawn out of dead ne fuels (a process known as desorption). Therefore, fuels will become drier, ignite more easily, burn faster and more ercely. Figure 72 shows the relationship between RH, temperature and fuel moisture content over a typical daily cycle.
Relative humidity Desorption

Changes in wind direction and increased strength present serious hazards to reghters. Fireghters must remain alert to changes in wind strength and direction, and receive updates on predicted wind changes, as these changes may affect re behaviour. Note: a wind change can rapidly cause relatively quiet anks to become active re fronts always keep fuel between you and the re to a minimum.

Wind speed
Wind speed, or strength, is a major cause of rapid changes in re behaviour. It will affect the intensity of a re, the speed at which it travels and its shape. The stronger the wind, the longer and narrower the re will be.

Temperature
Point of origin Point of origin

Moist/humid air

Adsorption

Point of origin

Fine fuel moisture

No wind
N Head E S

Dry air
0000 0600 1200 Time of day 1800 0000

Moderate northerly wind

Head

Strong northerly wind

Figure 72 daily trends in RH, temperature and ne fuel moisture content

Figure 73 effects of wind strength on re shape

Wind: In a bushre situation, re intensity usually increases during the day as the temperature rises and relative humidity falls, and reduces at night as humidity increases and temperature drops.
F supplies oxygen for the burning process; F removes ash, smoke and moisture from

fuels in the area; and


F slants the ames, hot air and gases

Wind
Wind is the most critical aspect affecting the shape, forward rate of spread and behaviour of a bushre.

over the unburnt fuel ahead of the re, therefore, pre-heating the fuels and allowing the re to spread faster.

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The wind may also lift burning materials, such as bark and other embers, and carry them ahead of the main re starting spot res.

Point of origin

C
New head

N W S E

Head
At 1330 hrs south westerly wind change. Danger is the eastern flank becoming the head

At 1000 hrs a fire is burning under the influence of a strong northerly wind.

Figure 75 result of change in wind direction

Figure 74 effects of wind

In this example, at 1000 hrs a re is burning under the inuence of a strong northerly wind (A). The re has an elongated shape with a narrow head. The re intensity being higher at the head of the re, the anks being much cooler as the re spreads slowly outwards west and east. By 1330 hrs the re has advanced to point (B), when a south westerly wind change occurs. The wind change causes the cooler eastern ank to suddenly become the new head of the re (C). The re which was burning on a narrow head, is now burning on a wide front. The new head re will move away at its maximum intensity and rate of spread. This change in direction will substantially increase the difculty of re suppression activities, but more importantly, presents an immediate threat to any reghters working on what was the eastern ank. Note: always be watchful of wind changes. If unpredicted changes occur in your area, warn your Crew Leader.

The stronger the wind the faster a re will spread. The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) measures wind speed at 10 m above ground level in the open for forecasts.

Wind direction
Changes in wind direction can cause a relatively quiet re ank to become the new head re. Sudden and unexpected changes are especially dangerous as reghters may be unprepared to deal with the new re conditions. Information regarding any potential changes in wind direction can assist in planning the attack on a re, and allows crews time to adjust their safety plans to ensure safety in the event of changed re behaviour. Wind direction refers to the direction the wind is coming from. A north wind means a wind originating from the north and travelling in a southerly direction. The following diagram illustrates the affects of a wind change on re.

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Atmospheric stability
The vertical (upward) movement of air masses that occur when hot air rises and is replaced by cooler air is affected by atmospheric conditions.

Unstable conditions
In unstable atmospheric conditions, re behaviour can be unpredictable. Visual indicators of unstable conditions are:
F presence of cumulus (cotton wool) type

Stable conditions
In stable atmospheric conditions, re behaviour will generally be predictable. Visual indicators of stable conditions are:
F presence of stratus type clouds (clouds

clouds showing noticeable vertical growth;


F smoke columns can rise to great heights; F winds are gusty and unpredictable; F potential for thunderstorms and therefore,

lightning strikes; and


F dust whirls (willy willies) may occur.

in layers);
F smoke columns will rise to a particular

point, atten out and then drift off in the direction of prevailing winds;
F vertical movement of air is limited; F air clarity can be reduced due to smog,

haze and/or fog layers may be present; and


F winds are generally light and predictable.

Figure 77 unstable atmosphere

Topography
The third major factor that impacts the spread of re is topography. Topography is the surface features of a particular area or region such as mountains, valleys, hills or plains.
Figure 76 stable atmosphere

The topography of an area will inuence the direction and speed at which a re will travel. The effects can be quite complex as the topography will also effect the local wind speed and direction.

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The three main concerns that arise in relation to topography are:


F slope; F aspect; and F the interaction between terrain, wind

F For every 10 of up slope, double the rate

of spread.
F

and elevation.

10 k

m/h

Slope
Slope will affect the speed, or rate of spread, of a re. If a re is travelling up slope as opposed to level ground, there will be a shorter distance for radiant heat to travel from the ames to unburnt fuel. Therefore, fuels up slope of a re will be preheated to their ignition temperature quicker than they would be on level ground. The opposite is true for a re travelling down slope.

2.5 km/hr

20 20

the effect of up slope

For example: a re is travelling at 2.5 km per hour on level ground towards a 20 up slope; it reaches the foot of the hill and continues to burn in the same direction; as it moves up the slope, the rate of spread will increase to 10 km per hour (approximately).
F For every 10 of down slope, halve the

rate of spread.
10 km/hr

2.5

km/

hr

20

Figure 78 re will travel quickly up steep slopes

The following rules of thumb will help you calculate the affect slope will have on the speed of a re.

Figure 80 the effect of down slope

For example: a re is travelling at 10 km per hour on level ground towards a 20 down slope; it reaches the edge of the level ground and continues to burn in the same direction down hill; as it moves down the slope, the rate of spread will decrease to 2.5 km per hour (approximately).

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Aspect
Aspect is the direction that a topographic feature or slope faces. This inuences the amount of solar radiation that it receives and, as a result, northerly and westerly aspects (which receive more sun) will be warmer and drier than southerly and easterly aspects. Aspect also inuences the nature of the vegetation, for example, northern and western aspects generally have drier and more ammable vegetation than southern and eastern aspects, where vegetation tends to be lush and less ammable. As a result, res on northern and western aspects will generally burn more ercely than res on southern and eastern aspects except in prolonged drought when the opposite may occur.

In mountainous country, winds tend to ow up or down valleys, irrespective of the general wind direction outside these areas. In fact, any change in terrain may have an effect on the wind. Coastal sea breezes are often experienced in the late afternoon in coastal areas and may affect re behaviour, depending on local terrain. Under clear skies, local winds can actually be generated by the heating and cooling of the terrain up slope during the day (anabatic) and down slope during the night (katabatic). Winds generated by any of these conditions will create complex re behaviour that has the potential to threaten reghter safety.

Terrain, wind and elevation


The way the wind interacts with terrain can be quite complex. Exposed faces of hills and ridges may have increased wind speeds, while their leeside, less exposed or sheltered areas may be almost calm. Under some circumstances, the leeside may have dangerous turbulent winds blowing in the reverse direction of the prevailing wind. Spot res can be drawn back up slope against the prevailing wind.

Elevation
Fire behaviour may change signicantly at different elevations (heights above sea level) due to:
F changes in types, quantities and

arrangements of fuel; and


F variations in temperature and humidity

affecting fuel moisture content; and


F variations in wind speed and direction.

These effects are particularly noticeable in alpine res where at night, and in early parts of the day, the res may burn intensely on the higher slopes while in the valleys re intensity may reduce signicantly. The reduction in re intensity in valley oors is due in part to increased humidity levels overnight that results in higher fuel moisture content within the available fuel.
Figure 81 lee slope wind turbulence

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F The three main factors that affect re F During stable atmospheric conditions

behaviour are: fuel; weather; and topography.


F Fuel characteristics which affect re

winds are generally light and predictable, vertical movement of air is limited and re behaviour will generally be predictable.
F During unstable atmospheric conditions

behaviour are: type; size; quantity; arrangement; and moisture content.


F Fine fuels burn readily given the

winds are generally gusty and unpredictable, smoke columns can rise to great heights and re behaviour will generally be unpredictable.
F The topography of an area will affect

the direction and speed at which a re will travel.


F Topographical factors which affect re

behaviour are slope, aspect elevation, land formations.


F Slope can affect the speed of a re.

right conditions.
F Coarse or heavy fuels tend to ignite less

The rules of thumb that may be used to determine the effect are: for every 10 of up slope, double the rate of spread; and for every 10 of down slope, halve the rate of spread.
F Aspect inuences how dry fuels are and

readily and burn more slowly.


F The arrangement of fuels affects how

they burn.
F Fire behaviour is affected by the moisture

content of the fuel, that is, how damp or dry fuels are.
F Weather elements that impact on re

therefore, how ercely res burn.


F Land formations inuence the strength and

behaviour are: air temperature; relative humidity (RH); wind speed and direction; and atmospheric stability.

direction of the wind.


F Fire behaviour may change signicantly

at different elevations (heights above sea level).


F Elevation affects the types and quantities

of fuel.

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Chapter 4 Bushre Development


There are three types of bushre, each of which creates its own particular hazards that require constant monitoring. You need to ensure safe work practices are observed and carried out at all times. This chapter will cover: F types of bushre and; F parts of a bushre.

Types of Bushre
A bushre is an unplanned vegetation re in grass, scrub and forest areas and may involve a combination of fuels. There are three types of bushre:
F ground re; F surface re; and F crown re.

Ground re
This type of re burns under the surface of the earth. It burns the organic material in the soil layer, riplines in plantations, peat, humus, roots and tree litter.
Figure 82 ground re in a peat swamp

Characteristics
F Smoulders with no ame and little smoke.

These res can burn unnoticed and may later ignite surface res. You need to take care to avoid stepping into undetected hot spots in the ground.

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Surface re
This type of re travels on the surface in vegetation such as grass, crops, stubble, low scrub and forest litter.

Crown re
This is a re which burns in the crowns (tops) of trees ahead of, and above, an intense surface re.

Figure 83 surface re

Figure 84 crown re

It presents a signicant hazard to reghters as re conditions can change rapidly due to strengthening winds or changes in wind direction which impact re direction, intensity and rate of spread.

Characteristics
F By far the most common type of re; F burns in fuels lying on the ground; F consumes litter and low vegetation such

Radiant heat and direct ame contact from the surface re will ignite tree tops. Crown res are exposed to higher wind speeds than the surface res. This stronger wind carries the re along the upper storey vegetation faster than the rate of spread below. Crown res normally need a surface re and sufcient continuous canopy fuel to sustain them.

Characteristics
F A fast travelling re that is extremely

as grass and scrub; and


F does not extend into the crowns of trees.

destructive and often consumes all in its path;


F an intense surface re follows shortly

behind a crown re;


F short or long distance spotting often

accompanies crown res (spotting distances of up to 25 km have been recorded); and


F falling material from a crown re can start

further surface res below. Note: crown res are a signicant hazard to reghters.

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Parts of a Bushre
Parts of a bushre include:
F point of origin; F head; F anks; F ngers; F heel, rear or back; F spot res ahead of the main re; and F unburnt pockets or islands.
Heel, rear or back Left flank Point of origin Finger Wind direction

The head is also called the re front. Flames are tallest and intensity of the re is greatest at this point. The head re is inuenced by wind direction, fuel factors and topography and its position will change under these inuences.

Flanks
Both sides of the re between the head and the rear are called the anks. They are roughly parallel to the main direction of spread. Fire intensity on the anks is less than at the head. They may be identied by their geographic location, for example, Ridge Road ank or compass points, for example, eastern or western ank.

Fingers
Right flank

Unburnt pocket or island Finger

Head fire

These are long and narrow slivers of the advancing re, which may extend beyond the head or anks, and are caused by varying wind direction or changes in fuel or topography.

Spot fires

Figure 85 parts of a bushre

Heel, rear or back


The least intense part of the res perimeter, with the lowest ames and slowest rate of spread. This is the section of the perimeter opposite to, and usually upwind, or down slope from, the head re.

Point of origin
This is the area where the re started. The likely point of origin should, if possible, be left undisturbed for re investigation. Refer to the topic Evidence of Fire Cause in Chapter 11.

Spot res
Spot res are res that occur ahead of, or away from, the main re. Spot res present a signicant hazard to reghters as they may lead to the unexpected spread of the re, potentially compromising reghter safely.

Head
The head of a re is where the re is making its greatest progress (usually downwind or up slope) measured by its forward rate of spread.

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Causes and effects of spotting


Spot res occur when embers (rebrands) are carried by prevailing winds or hot, convected air and drop ahead of, or away from, the main re. Convection has important implications for reghters.
F Convection that occurs with large res

F increasing re intensity hotter res

produce more re brands. Problems arising from spot res include:


F spot res near the main re can be

particularly hazardous as they have the potential to cut off reghters from escape routes;
F greater demand for resources to undertake

creates strong indraught winds affecting re behaviour.


F Convection from a re often carries

a direct attack and suppress spot res;


F the rate of spread of a main re front may

pieces of burning bark or embers with it these can be carried forward, or in other directions away from the re, causing small res to start well ahead of, or in different areas from, the main re. This is called spotting. Factors that may increase the likelihood of spot res include:
F atmospheric stability determines how

accelerate rapidly if spot res start ahead of it; and


F in winds of varying direction, the

occurrence and spread of spot res will be unpredictable. If you are unable to suppress the spot res you must implement your escape plan. This may mean evacuating the area immediately. If you are unable to reach a safety zone, take refuge as discussed previously.

vigorous the convection column is and how easily it can carry embers aloft;
F wind strength determines how far

Junction zone
A junction zone is dened as an area of greatly increased re intensity caused by two re fronts or anks burning towards one another. This is due to the increased level of preheating of unburnt fuels between the advancing res and the combining of convection cells as each advancing re draws air for the combustion process. This two to three fold increase in intensity and rate of spread makes the junction zone an extremely dangerous place to be.

embers will carry. Increasing wind strength carries embers further from the re edge;
F lower fuel moisture content allows fuel to

ignite more easily and burn more rapidly;


F increased turbulance caused by terrain

or gaps in the forest canopy;


F bark types for example, stringy bark

eucalypts are commonly associated with mass, short-distance spotting, whereas candle bark eucalypts may be associated with very long-distance spotting, up to several kilometres; and

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F There are three types of bushre: F Fingers are narrow slivers of the advancing

ground re; surface re; and crown re.


F A ground re burns the organic material in

bushre, which extend beyond the head or anks.


F The heel, rear or back is the section of the

perimeter opposite to, and usually upwind or down slope from, the head of the re.
F Spot res are new res ignited ahead of, or

the soil layer, as in a peat re.


F A surface re burns in surface vegetation

such as grass, scrub and forest litter.


F A crown re burns in the crowns of trees

away from, the main re by embers, or by a burning object often called a rebrand.
F Spot res are affected by atmospheric

ahead of and above an intense surface re in the undergrowth.


F Parts of a bushre include the:

stability, wind strength and turbulence, moisture content, re intensity and bark types.
F Stringy bark eucalypts may be associated

point of origin; head; anks; ngers; heel, rear or back; spot res ahead of the main re; and unburnt pockets or islands.
F The point of origin is where the re started. F The head is the part of a re where the rate

with mass, short-distance spotting .


F Candle bark/ribbon eucalypts are

commonly associated with very longdistance spotting.


F If multiple spot res start to develop in the

area around you, it may be necessary to evacuate the area immediately.

of spread, ame height and intensity are greatest, usually when burning downwind or up slope.
F The anks are those parts of a res

perimeter that are roughly parallel to the main direction of spread.

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Chapter 5 Hand Tools


There is a range of hand tools and equipment you may use in bushre suppression activities. You need to be able to identify the various tools and equipment available to you, know how to use and maintain them correctly, and recognise the situations in which they may be applied. This chapter will cover: F general hand tool safety; and F common hand tools and their use.

General Hand Tool Safety


The most common hand tools used in reghting are the axe and the rakehoe. Both have sharp blades capable of inicting injury to the user or others working nearby. Consequently great care must be taken when using them. Note: failure to observe safe handling and work procedures can result in severe injury. Using hand tools and other small equipment can also be hazardous while working on a slope, in dusty or smoky environments, when darkness is falling and in areas where there is the potential of falling rocks and trees. Extreme care must be taken at all times as it is difcult to maintain your mobility and balance when using certain pieces of equipment.

Carrying hand tools


Misuse and improper handling of hand tools can be dangerous. When carrying hand tools:
F carry them close to your body and parallel

to the ground with the sharp blades towards the ground as illustrated in Figures 86 and 87;

Figure 86 correct way to carry an axe

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Common Hand Tools and Their Use


Axe
The axe is used for many activities such as:
F felling small trees; F removing branches; F cleaning bark from trees; and F splitting logs and stumps.

Figure 87 correct way to carry a rakehoe

F do not carry them over your shoulder if

you swing around, the tool may strike another person, or if you fall, it may cause you serious injury;
F carry tools on the downhill side when

An axe must have the head securely tted to the handle an axe head ying off a handle can cause serious injury. Axe head covers should be used to protect the axe head when not in use, and to protect reghters from injury. Once an axe has been used for breaking up stumps, it should be correctly re-sharpened to make sure it is ready for use.

walking on side slopes if your feet slip out from under you, the hand tool should fall downhill away from you.

Pulaski
The Pulaski is used for:
F felling small trees; F removing branches; F clearing bark from trees; F splitting logs open; F breaking open stumps; F raking and scraping away surface fuels

down to mineral earth to create control lines; and


F raking out hot coals from logs, stumps and

hot spots.

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Rakehoe
A rakehoe has one pronged edge for raking and one sharpened edge for cutting, chipping and scraping down to mineral earth. A rakehoe is used for:
F constructing a mineral earth control line

For a rakehoe to do the job it was designed for, it must be kept well maintained and in a serviceable condition.
F The handle should be splinter free, sanded

smooth and kept oiled;


F rakehoe covers should be used to protect

the cutting blade when not in use;


F the blade or cutting edge must be sharp;

through forest fuels;

the working angle for the cutting edge is about 30;


F the prongs of the rake side should be

straight; and
F the head must be tight.

Note: remember to sharpen the edge away from you, use safety le handle and secure the tool.

Figure 88 using a rakehoe to create a mineral earth control line

Constructing a control line using hand tools


Constructing a control line using hand tools requires a team effort. It is necessary to work in a planned manner if the team is to work safely, effectively and efciently. The two methods for constructing a control line using a team of reghters equipped with hand tools, are the:
F step-up method; and F one lick method.

F scraping bark from tree trunks; F breaking up and raking out compacted

fuels in conjunction with water/Class A foam during blacking out operations; and
F raking out hot coals from logs and stumps.

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Step-up method
The step-up method is normally used for constructing a control line when there are limited numbers of reghters available. It involves reghters in a crew working in a line on individual sections of the control line.
A B C

sections until they, or someone behind them, completes their section and calls step-up and the process is repeated. In this way the group moves along at a steady rate and no one overtakes the person in front. The last member of the crew (the polisher) checks that the control line is cleared to the required standard and monitors the security of the constructed control line. The Crew Leader usually works at the head of the team, selecting the route for the control line. Note: control lines constructed with hand tools are often called rakehoe trails.

One-lick method
Step up

A A

B B

C C

In the one-lick method, each person removes a portion of the fuel by raking or chipping it away from the re as they move along the line. This continues until the mineral earth is exposed and a control line is established.

Control line

Figure 89 step-up method Figure 90 one-lick method

Crew members stand approximately 3 m apart depending on the fuel type and terrain. Each member clears their individual section of the rebreak down to mineral earth by raking and chipping the fuel away from the re. The person calling out step-up, and all personnel ahead, move to the next unnished section and the front person moves 3 m to new uncleared ground. All personnel behind continue working on their

This method may suit situations where a large number of reghters are deployed as a unit. In both the step-up and one-lick method of control line construction, the last member of the team is responsible for ensuring the line is completed to the required standard.

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Which method to use?


The step-up method is useful with crews of up to 810 persons and where the distance to be cleared is not excessive. Well trained crews can produce a good control line with the minimum of supervision and follow up. The one-lick method is better suited to larger crews, and where there is a longer distance to be covered. Under these conditions the step-up method becomes unwieldy. The crew can be spread further than with the step-up method and will tend to cover ground at greater speed. It is also more useful where people have not worked together before and where close supervision is not always possible. Note: with either method, the last person, or polisher, should be well experienced as he or she is responsible for determining whether or not the re control line is to an acceptable standard for the task.

F Keep the control line as straight as

possible to provide reghters with a clear view and enable them to move along the control line easily.
F The width of the control line will be

determined by Crew Leader based on the expected re behaviour.


F Keep the length of the control line to

a minimum.
F Corners should be widened, as res are

more intense in this area and can often spot over at these points.
F Avoid heavy concentrations of fuel as the

res intensity will increase close to the control line.


F Cut saplings and small trees at ground

level to minimise the potential for the sharp stumps to cause accidents.
F Keep the control lines clear of stags, dead

trees or stumps.
F Rake and scrape unburnt surface fuels

Key points to remember


F Make the most of natural re breaks such as:

away from the re.


F Remove rough bark and ladder fuels from

exposed rock shelves; open ground; and rivers, dams, lakes and streams.

trees adjacent to the control line as these can cause spotting across the control line or rake around these, if it is not possible to avoid them.
F Remove any overhanging fuel. F Be sure that the fuel is removed down to

the mineral earth. Note: take care with sharp blades, stay a safe distance (3 m) from other crew members and do not chop too close to feet.

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Handtool maintenance
Hand tools need to be ready for use. They need smooth handles and sharpened blades. Sharpening can be done with a at le and smoothing of wooden handles with sandpaper. Sharpening of rakehoe blades should only be carried out by appropriately trained personnel. As with axes, a blade sharpened at too ne an angle can be easily damaged and the tool rendered useless. The correct working angle for the cutting edge of a rakehoe is 30. Sharpened blades must be protected to avoid cutting yourself or blunting the blade. You can do this by covering the blade and taking care when stowing or using the tool. Ensure the rakehoe or axe head is tightly tted to its handle and check the handle for cracks and splinters (lightly sand and oil the wooden handle). Note: tool sharpening should only be undertaken by a competent operator.

Knapsack sprayer
A knapsack is a portable spray pump containing between 16 to 20 litres of water and tted with shoulder straps for carrying on the back. It has a hand-operated pump, which can be used to deliver water either in the form of a jet or a spray. Many knapsacks have containers made of polythene, while newer knapsacks may be collapsible to allow easier storage.

Collapsible backpack sprayer

Plastic knapsack sprayer

Figure 91 knapsack sprayers

On the reground, you can use a knapsack to:


F suppress a low intensity re that can be

easily and safely extinguished;


F support hand crews who are constructing

a control line close to the re edge;


F assist in mopping up operations; and F patrol a hose lay.

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Guidelines for use


When using a knapsack sprayer the following guidelines should be adopted:
F check that the shoulder straps are in good

condition and that the knapsack operates (delivers water when pumped);
F ensure that it contains sufcient water

for the task and that no major leaks are evident;


F adjust the straps so that the knapsack sits

comfortably on the back;


F check that the nozzle can be adjusted

and set it to a pattern that best suits the situation;


Figure 92 using a knapsack spray

F do not waste large quantities of water on

Construction
Knapsack sprayers consist of several components:
F a tank; F the pump; and F an adjustable nozzle.

small embers;
F when attacking a low intensity re, work

from an anchor point and direct water at the base of the re;
F be aware of the situation and quantity of

water you have remaining; and


F when operations are completed, close the

The tank usually constructed of plastic or vinyl, holds up to 20 litres of water and is carried by two shoulder straps. Newer collapsible knapsacks hold about 16 litres of water. The pump mostly a double action piston type operation, connected to the water outlet hose. An adjustable jet-spray shut-off nozzle allows the operator to deliver water in a spray or jet pattern.

nozzle to prevent leakage and stow the knapsack in an upright position. Note: knapsacks may not be suitable for use in steep, loose or slippery conditions, where falls are possible.

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Drip torch
A drip torch has a burning wick attached via a wand to a fuel reservoir. When in use, a constant ow of drip torch fuel keeps the wick alight. Drip torches are used solely for authorised prescribed burning, back burning, burning out and other lighting activities. Note: drip torches may only be used as part of an approved plan, and then only by an experienced person under the direction and supervision of your commander.

The body or reservoir r contains the ammable mixture used for ignition. Capacity varies according to manufacturer from 4 to 9 litres of fuel. Drip torch fuel consists of a mixture of diesel and petrol (unleaded or super). The mixture is:
F 3 parts (75%) diesel; and F 1 part (25%) unleaded petrol.

Construction
A drip torch consists of several components:
F body; F ller cap; F wand; F nozzle and wick; F bleed screw/breather vent; and F tap.

Always refer to the manufacturers specication or the agency procedures for the correct ratio to use (may be found stamped on the body of the drip torch). Other mixture must not be used. DSE reghters should refer to their agencys guidelines and note that DSE have a premixed blend.
F The wand transfers the fuel from the body

to the nozzle and wick for ignition.


F The nozzle and wick. The nozzle controls

the ow of fuel to the wick. The wick is soaked in fuel.


Wick Nozzle Wand
F The bleed screw/breather vent controls

Filler cap

the rate of ow of the fuel to the wick. This ensures an even and constant ow of fuel when the unit is operated in a tilted or almost inverted position by allowing air to bleed into the tank. When not in use the bleeder screw should be tightly closed to prevent fuel spilling during transit.
F The tap turns the fuel to the wick on or off.

Body

When not in use the tap should be turned off to prevent fuel spilling during transit.

Figure 93 CFA (left) and DSE (right) drip torches

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Guidelines for use

F ensure the correct fuel is used in the drip

torch and no leaks are evident. If lling, take care to avoid breathing in fuel vapours or spilling fuel onto the ground, follow agencys safety precautions when lling drip torch;
F open the bleed screw/breather vent

turn

and turn on the tap;

Tap

Breather vent

Figure 95 driptorch fuel tap and breather vent (note fuel mixture marked on lid)

F lower the wand to the ground to soak

Figure 94 using a drip torch

The Crew Leader will determine:


F the type of lighting pattern to be used,

the wick with fuel, adjusting the bleed screw to allow fuel to ow or drop past the wick. Raise the wand again to the vertical position to stop the fuel mixture dripping;
F tilt the unit to lower the wand and light

for example, continuous line or spot lighting; and


F the rate of lighting.

If too much is lit or it is lit in the wrong way the burn can escape. When using a drip torch the following guidelines should be adopted:
F ensure that there is no risk to other

the wick from an ignition source on the ground, for example, a match or other burning material. When the wick lights, return the wand to an upright position. Repeat the ignition process if the torch extinguishes;
F carry the lit torch in an upright position to

the location where backburning or burn out is to commence. Take care not to splash fuel around; and
F tilt the unit, lowering the wand to the

personnel operating in the vicinity of the proposed burnout or backburn;


F before lighting, place the drip torch in a

ground, allowing fuel to drop past the ignited wick and onto the area to be lit. The drip torch breather vent and fuel tap should be closed when the drip torch is stowed/transported in your vehicle to prevent fuel spilling out.

safe, level location with low fuel/vegetation;


F check the manufacturers recommended

fuel mixture ratio, usually printed or stamped on the lid or body;


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Notes

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F The most common hand tools used

in reghting are the axe, pulaski and rakehoe.


F Hand tools must be carried with care to

raking out hot coals from logs, stumps and hot spots.
F A rakehoe has one sharpened edge for

prevent accidents: carry hand tools close to your body and parallel to the ground; do not carry them over your shoulder; and carry tools on the downhill side when walking on steep side slopes.
F An axe is used to:

cutting, chipping and scraping, and one pronged edge for raking. Its specic uses are to: construct a control line; scrape bark from tree trunks; break up and rake out compacted fuels; rake hot coals out from logs and stumps; and a rakehoe must be well maintained.
F A control line is a man-made or natural

fell small trees; remove branches; clean bark from trees; and split logs and stumps.
F For safety purposes, it is important that

fuel-free path. It prevents the spread of re.


F The two methods for constructing a control

line using a team of reghters equipped with hand tools are the: step-up method; and one-lick method.
F Step-up is the most common method

an axe head is securely tted to its handle and that axe head covers are used when the axe is not in use.
F The Pulaski is used for:

felling small trees; removing branches; clearing bark from trees; splitting logs open; breaking open stumps; raking and scraping away surface fuels down to mineral earth to create control lines; and

and requires good team work, however the one-lick method may be better suited to larger crews, needing to cover longer areas where close supervision is not possible.
F With either method, the last person

(polisher) is responsible for ensuring the control line is completed to an acceptable standard.

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F A knapsack is a portable spray pump

with a capacity of about 16 litres of water (collapsible type) or 20 litres of water (hard plastic type) and tted with shoulder straps. It is used for: making a direct attack on a low intensity ank re; supporting hand crews who are constructing a control line close to the re edge; assisting in mopping up operations; and patrolling a hose lay.
F A drip torch is a portable fuel container

tted with a wand and burning wick that drips a burning fuel mixture (petrol/diesel) onto the ground.
F Drip torches may only be used as part

of an approved plan, by an experienced person, and under the direction and supervision of the Ofcer-in-Charge.
F Refer to the manufacturers specications

for the correct fuel mix ratio, usually found stamped on the body of the drip torch.
F Agency guidelines should be followed

when transporting, fuelling or using a drip torch.

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Chapter 6 Hose and Fittings


There is a range of hose and ttings you may use in bushre suppression activities. It is important you are able to recognise the various pieces of equipment available to you and how they are used, cared for and maintained. This chapter will cover: F hose couplings; F adapters; F branches and nozzles; F breechings; F hose types; F hose care; F bowling/rolling hose; F after use hose maintenance; F hose stowage; and F hose reels.

Hose Couplings
Couplings are ttings used for connecting two lengths of hose together or a piece of equipment to a length of hose. Some of the most common types of couplings used are:
F screw or threaded; F external lug; F camlock; and F Storz.
Figure 96 (left to right) external lug 38 mm, Storz 64 mm and CFA 3 threaded 64 mm

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Hose reel couplings


There are many different types and designs of hose reel couplings. These couplings have no standard pattern. The types most commonly used are screw thread and external lug.

is obtained by virtue of the cam used to lock it. It is not a hermaphrodite coupling but is relatively efcient to use. Camlock couplings are the standard quick-connect suction hose coupling for all DSE reghting vehicles.

Storz couplings
The Storz coupling system originated in Germany. It is an internal lug system, which, with variation to the coupling seals, may be used with delivery and/or suction hose. Each face of a pair of Storz hose couplings is identical or symmetrical (one half being a mirror image of the other), and is also known as hermaphrodite (neither male nor female). The advantage of this type of coupling system is that it enables hose to be laid out in either direction (as all coupling ends of the same diameter match).

Screw or threaded couplings


Screw or threaded couplings are in use on all types of hose lines, including delivery and suction, to connect hose lengths. They need to be positioned so that the male coupling of one hose can be connected to the female coupling of another hose. Care needs to be taken when laying out hose tted with screw or threaded couplings to ensure:
F the female coupling is located at the water

supply end, such as the hydrant or pump outlet; and


F the male coupling is positioned towards

Care and maintenance of couplings


You should treat couplings with care as damage may result in air leaks in suction hose or water leaks in delivery hose. When working with couplings, you should:
F regularly inspect to ensure they are in

the branch or delivery end.

External lug couplings


These couplings are suitable for delivery hose only. The lugs are external to the coupling face for easy cleaning in dusty or muddy conditions. They are extensively used in bushre reghting operations. Do not over tighten these couplings nger tight is sufcient as the washer ensures a water tight seal.

operational condition;
F do not treat them with lubricants; F inspect seals for wear or deterioration

(replace if necessary);
F never drop or drag them along the ground

Camlock couplings
Camlock couplings are used by a number of agencies specically on suction hoses. This coupling is widely used because a good seal

to avoid damage; and


F tighten them at the joints do not

over tighten.

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Adaptors
These are ttings used to connect together:
F different sized hoses; and F pieces of equipment with incompatible

threads or couplings, for example, branches, Y pieces and shut off valves. Figure 97 shows a range of adaptors currently in service.

Figure 98 different controlled branches and nozzles

Take care to open and close the ow control slowly with high ow rates of water a sudden closing of the ow control valve on the branch may result in a water hammer effect caused by a sudden increase in water pressure. This in turn may damage the pump, water mains or delivery hose.

Figure 97 A: 64 mm cfa 3 thread female loose nut x 76 mm Storz; B: 64 mm CFA 3 thread female x 38 mm external lug; and C: 64 mm cfa 3 thread male x 38 mm external lug.

Breechings
Breechings are pieces of equipment used for:
F dividing one line of delivery hose into two

Branches and Nozzles


A branch is used to direct and control water at a re. A nozzle is tted to a branch to control the volume and pattern of water discharged. It is important to select the branch and nozzle most suited to a particular task. Branches and nozzles come in various types and sizes. They provide a range of options for delivering water onto the re. A controlled branch allows control over the ow of water, closing and opening as required.

lines (dividing breeching); and


F collecting bringing together of

two lines of delivery hose into one (collecting breeching).

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Dividing breeching
A dividing breeching, sometimes called a Y piece, as its name implies, allows you to divide one delivery hose line into two. The purpose of the division may be to reduce loss of pressure due to friction in the supply hose line, or to divide one hose line into two to allow two separate streams of water to be delivered to different parts of a re. Commonly used types of dividing breechings are:
F screw thread has one female inlet and

Collecting breeching
A collecting breeching, as its name implies, brings two hose lines which have been divided (or twinned) into one to reduce friction. A collecting breeching enables the delivery of a maximum volume of water to the pump for boosting. Commonly used types of collecting breechings are:
F screw thread has two female inlets

two male outlets; and


F Storz or external lug couplings same all

and one male outlet (opposite coupling conguring to a dividing breeching); and
F Storz or external lug couplings same all

round, neither male nor female. A dividing breeching may be tted with valves to regulate or shut off water ow.

round, neither male nor female. A collecting breeching may be tted with valves to regulate or shut off water ow.

Figure 99 collecting breeching (left) dividing breeching (right), 64 mm CFA threads

Gated

Non gated

Figure 100 collecting/ dividing breechings gated and non gated with external lug 38 mm coupling adaptors

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Hose Types
There are two main types of hose used for reghting:
F suction; and F delivery.

Suction hose
A suction hose conveys water to the reghting pump, which is a process called draughting. A suction hose is reinforced to withstand external atmospheric pressure so that it will maintain its round shape and not collapse when draughting. Suction hose is constructed from a variety of materials. Fire services mainly use reinforced thermoplastics and rubber. The diameter of suction hose varies. The most common size used on tankers is between 50 mm and 75 mm and on slip-on units it is more commonly between 38 mm and 50 mm. There are several pieces of equipment used with suction hose as detailed on the following pages and depicted below.

Figure 102 suction hose with equipment tted and roped in place

Suction coupling spanners


Suction coupling spanners are designed to give the necessary leverage to make and break (undo) joints on a suction hose without damaging the couplings. Each appliance carries the appropriate spanners for the types of couplings tted. You should familiarise yourself with these and their operation.

Suction strainers
A suction strainer is tted at the end of a suction hose to prevent foreign matter from being drawn into the pump and causing damage. A feature of a suction strainer is that its surface area is always greater than the pump inlet. This lessens the chance of a partial blockage creating a reduction of ow. The design of strainers varies, but most are a cylindrical shape and referred to as barrel strainers.

Figure 101 rope line, strainer, oat assembly, strainer basket, suction coupling spanners and suction hose

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Suction oat assembly


The oat assembly keeps the strainer out of mud and allows the suction hose to lie straight in deeper water.

Figure 103 suction strainer attached to hose and roped

Suction strainer basket


Wicker or wire baskets should be used in conjunction with strainers when draughting from water which contains grass, reeds, seaweed or debris. The basket is slipped over the suction strainer and is rmly tied to the suction hose.

Figure 105 oat assembly

Rope lines

Figure 106 rope used to remove strain from suction hose coupling Figure 104 suction strainer basket

Rope lines are attached to the suction hose to:


F give control when manoeuvering the hose

and strainer;
F maintain the suction strainer at the desired

position and depth (minimum of three times hose diameter under the surface of the water);

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F relieve excess weight that may cause

Round turn and two half-hitches This knot can be used to attach the suction hose line to the rear of the appliance. The knot is formed by making a round turn through the eye of the tow hitch or other round object and making two locking halfhitches on the standing part of the line.

internal damage to the hose, couplings and bindings or bands, when they are suspended from the pump; and
F relieve the pump inlet of the excess weight

of the suction hose.

Knots used
The following information provides you with a brief overview of the knots used for this purpose. Clove hitch This type of knot can be used for securing a line to a suction strainer. The knot consists of two half-hitches, one of which is reversed.

Figure 108 suction hose roped to vehicle with round turn and two half hitches

Whenever strain is placed on it the line will lock. When the strain is removed it is easy to untie. Many newer appliances are equipped with permanently connected section hoses and so the need for roping sections together is eliminated.

Figure 107 rope to support suction strainer tied using clove hitch and passing through suction strainer basket

By passing over one-another, the parts of the line bind and form a secure hitch that can be easily untied but will not slip under a steady, direct strain.

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Delivery hose
Delivery hose is used to deliver water to the re. It is designed to withstand internal pressure. This hose is also used as a supply line from the hydrant to the pump.

Sizes of delivery hose


Hose lines used in bushre reghting range in size from 19 mm to 64 mm. The size of delivery hose is based on its internal diameter. Choice of hose diameter will depend on the quantity of water needed and the distance it needs to be pumped.
F 19 mm and 25 mm hose are mainly used

Types of delivery hose


There are four main types of delivery hose:
F percolating allows water to weep

through the synthetic hose jacket to protect it from hot embers and is mainly used in forest reghting;
F non-percolating lined synthetic hose,

the outer jacket remains dry;

on live rubber hose reels, which can supply water without unrolling all the hose. Can be either rubber hose on a reel or lay at hose. Its purpose is blacking out and wash away activities;
F 38 mm hose is mainly used on tankers for

delivery purposes and is more suitable for pumping water over longer distances or active ame knock down work; and
F 64 mm hose is used for tank lling from a

quickll pump or hydrant. Note: a small amount of 90 mm hose is used on specialised appliances. On urban appliances 25 mm hose can be used with high pressure pumps for specialist applications.

Figure 109 38 mm non-percolating lined delivery hose tted with external lug couplings

F extruded the synthetic hose jacket is

encapsulated between the inner lining and outer coating, for example, Duraline; and
F rubber (on hose reels).

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Hose Care
Much of the damage to hose can be avoided by following the guidelines below.

Laying hose
When laying hose, where possible, choose an area with little or no fuel to provide the best protection from:
F naked ame; F radiant heat; F hot embers; and F trafc.

If there is no other alternative but to move hose while still full of water, maintain a positive pressure in the hose and it will move more easily. This method will also avoid kink and abrasion damage.

Puncture damage
Puncture damage may be caused by dropping couplings on hose, or snagging the hose on sharp objects. If hose is likely to be driven over by vehicles, it should be laid in a trench or hose ramps should be used.

Cutting damage
Cuts to hose occur when the hose is dragged across sharp objects such as rocks, roong iron, barbed wire fences or glass. Even hose with the best abrasion resistant properties can suffer extensive damage from cutting, some of which may be beyond repair. Damage of this nature is avoidable if due care is exercised.

It is good practice, if there is plenty of water on hand, to wet down a path for your hose as you move forward to protect it from damage, or to create an area clear of vegetation to lay hose in. Hoses can also be placed along drains, track edges and fuel reduced areas. Patrol the hose lay to ensure there is no threat from ame or hot embers. You may use a knapsack to extinguish any hot spots.

Abrasion damage
When working with hose, avoid dragging it as this will result in the jacket or outer cover suffering abrasion damage (the outer cover will be worn away). To avoid abrasion, lay hose out in a conguration where it is least likely to need moving. If moving is essential, drain the water from the hose to reduce its weight and carry it. The weight of water in a 30 m length of 38 mm diameter hose is approximately 34 kg and 100 kg in a 64 mm hose.

Chemical damage
There are many chemical and petrochemical substances which pose a threat to the integrity of a hose by causing damage to:
F the jacket; F the outer cover and/or lining; and F causing major decontamination problems.

Avoid the hose coming into contact with chemicals.

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Shock damage
Shock damage, or water hammer as it is also known, is caused by the action of a fast moving body of water (such as in a hose) being brought to a sudden halt. This action can increase the delivery pressure by a factor of ve. The worst form of shock damage is a burst hose or water supply main. Shock to hose may result from:
F sharp bends in hose lays; F twists and/or kinks; F shutting off a branch too quickly; F sudden increase of pump or mains

Bowling/Rolling Hose
Bowling hose rolled on the bight
Hose may be rapidly deployed using a technique known as hose bowling. CFA members, refer to Fire Ground Practice 1.7 Bowling out hose rolled on the bight. Position the roll of hose in the crook of your elbow, couplings at the bottom and facing to the rear. Hold the hose behind the tail of the coupling with one hand and place your free hand on top of the roll. Face the direction in which the hose is to be bowled. The rolled coil of hose is now bowled in an underarm motion and allowed to uncoil. As the uncoiling hose nears the end of the roll, draw back sharply on the coupling to uncoil the hose completely.

delivery pressure; and


F turning a hydrant on or off too quickly.

Be aware of, and avoid, these causes of shock. Remember: damage to hose is avoidable.

Figure 110 place hose in crook of arm, step forward and bowl

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Longer lengths or larger diameter of rolled hose that may be too heavy to bowl can be placed on the ground and rolled out to avoid strains or sprains.

Take care to keep the layers aligned while rolling and remove any sharp objects. Continue rolling until the hose passes over the male coupling. Have your crew mate assist as shown below.

Figure 111 bowling out the hose

Rolling hose on the bight


CFA members, refer to Fire Ground Practice 1.8 Rolling hose on the bight. To prepare a hose for rolling on the bight, lay it out straight and at. Drain the hose rst if required using a hand-under-hand action (not over the shoulder), while keeping the hose raised from the ground. For threaded couplings, carry the male coupling back along the hose placing it short of the female coupling (600 mm short for a 30 m hose). Align the two layers of hose neatly, then make a fold (150 mm bight) at the centre fold. Fold this bight in half again and then roll the two layers of hose into a coil.

Figure 112 rolling hose on the bight

Figure 113 draining hose with the aid of acoupling spanner

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Hose After Use Maintenance


After use, hose should be:
F washed with cold fresh water using a hose

Hose Stowage
Care needs to be taken when stowing hose on a vehicle to avoid damage from:
F sharp objects or edges; F rubbing against rough surfaces or

washing apparatus, stiff brush or a broom;


F oil or similar residues are to be removed

with a liquid detergent and rinsed off (do not use chemical solvents);
F inspected for damage including cuts,

locker doors;
F falling from lockers; and F fumes or spilt fuel from cans.

holes or abrasion; and


F inspected to ensure that hose is securely

xed to coupling tail with no damage to clamps or bindings. Report any damage found in the hose or coupling to your Crew Leader. Any hose and coupling assembly suspected of damage should be pressure tested in accordance with the appropriate standard. Contact your District for advice. Hose with a textile woven outer jacket or covered type should be drained, placed on a drying rack or hung to dry. Do not leave hose out in all weather over long periods as deterioration of both lining and cover will occur. Extruded hose should be drained and the outer may be wiped dry and can immediately be re-stowed onto a vehicle if required.

Hose is stowed in various conguration, type and quantity, depending on the size and type of the appliance. Hose may be stored in the following ways.
F A straight roll rolled singularly where

hose line is tted with screw/threaded coupling, begin rolling from the male (threaded) end. When stowed the threads will be protected by the roll of hose.
F On the bight the hose is folded in

half and rolled double, as discussed previously, ending up with both couplings on the outside of the roll. The male thread should be underneath the female to protect the thread.

Figure 114 64 mm extruded hose (Duraline) rolled on the bight (doubled and rolled)

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F Flaked in hose trays or lockers aked

F On hose reels prior to operating any

simply means the hose is laid up, turned, and laid back down alongside the last ake until the required amount is aked into the tray or locker. The hose may be aked at or on its edge. Couplings are included in the aked conguration when two or more lengths are stowed in this way. One coupling is left out at each end for coupling to the pump or hydrant, and to a branch.

type of hose reel you need to check the release, braking and rewind mechanisms to ensure safe operation.

Hose Reels
Dead hose reel
A dead hose reel is used for the storage of multiple lengths of lay at hose. It is known as a dead reel, as it cannot be connected to the appliances water supply. Normally a branch is tted to the outer hose coupling. When required for use, the appropriate length(s) of hose are unwound and then uncoupled from the reel. Once removed from the reel, the hose is then coupled to the pump delivery outlet.

Figure 115 aked hose in tray

F Figure of 8 hose in a Figure of 8

conguration is with one coupling on the outside and one on the inside. A special hose winder is used for this. Figure of 8 is used mainly in forest reghting where long hose lays are used and hose may be carried in packs or over the shoulder. The hose may be layed out without tangling.

Figure 117 dead hose reel

Note: watch out for couplings as they leave the reel to avoid personal injury.
Figure 116 gure of 8 hose conguration

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It is advisable to remove more hose than initially required. Flake this surplus in an S conguration behind you to allow the hose to straighten out without twisting as you move forward. Stow the hose reel and rewind handle correctly when not in use to avoid personal injury.

Live hose reel


Rubber hose reels are normally charged with water and are known as live reels.
Figure 119 tanker side lling point

Figure 118 live rubber hose reel

As the hose is unwound the water supply valve from the pump is turned on and the reghter has immediate water to supply the branch.

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Chapter 6 Summary
F The most common types of couplings F Ropes are used for attaching a line to a

used are: screw or threaded; external lug; camlock; and Storz.


F Treat hose couplings with care as damage

suction hose and strainer, and tying off to the appliance.


F A clove hitch and a round turn and two

half-hitches are two common types of knots.


F Delivery hose is designed to withstand

may result in air leaks in suction hose, or water leaks in delivery hose.
F Adapters are used to connect together

internal pressure and is used to deliver water to the re.


F The four main types of delivery hose are:

different sized hoses, or pieces of equipment with incompatible threads.


F Branches and nozzles come in a range of

percolating; non-percolating; extruded; and rubber.


F Care needs to be taken when laying hose

types and sizes and are used to direct and control the ow of water.
F Breechings are used to join two hose

lines (collecting breeching) or divide one hose line into two hose lines (dividing breeching).
F A dividing breaching, sometimes called a

and when stowing hose on a vehicle to prevent damage. Common sources of damage to hoses include: naked ame; radiant heat; hot embers; and trafc.
F Types of damage include:

Y piece, allows the delivery hose line to be divided into two lines.
F The two main types of hose used for

reghting are: suction; and delivery.


F A suction hose is reinforced to withstand

abrasion; puncture; cutting; chemicals; and shock.

external atmospheric pressure and conveys water to the reghting pump in a process called draughting.

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F Hose may be uncoiled using an underarm

bowling motion.
F When rolling hose on the bight take care

to align the two layers of hose, keeping the male coupling on top and laying short of the female coupling (600 mm on a 30 m hose).
F After use, hoses should be washed,

inspected for damage, and inspected to ensure that each hose is securely xed to the coupling tail with no damage to clamps or bindings.
F Hose may be stored in the following ways:

as a straight roll; on the bight; aked in hose trays or lockers; gure of 8 in lockers; and on hose reels.
F A dead hose reel is used for the storage of

multiple lengths of lay at hose.


F A live hose reel is a rubber hose rolled

onto a reel and connected to the water supply. As the hose is unwound, the water supply valve from the pump is turned on and water is immediately supplied to the branch.

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Chapter 7 Bushre Extinguishing Media


There are several media used to aid in re suppression. Water is the most common and effective for extinguishing a re. A pump is used for supplying a pressurised source of water in the quantity required for the reght. Retardants and wetting agents may be mixed with water to aid in re suppression. You need to know the media available, how they are used and any precautions that should be taken when handling them. This chapter will cover: F extinguishing media; F water supplies; F applying water; F re retardants; and F wetting agents.

Extinguishing Media
The particular medium(s) used at an incident will depend on factors such as fuel type, weather, topography, environmental considerations and availability of a particular medium. These mediums include:
F water; F Class A foam; F re retardants; and F wetting agents.

Water
Water is the most common and effective medium for extinguishing a re. It does this by wetting the fuel and reducing its temperature. The efcient use of water is a major factor in re suppression. Water is an effective bushre extinguishing medium as it cools water absorbs heat energy from the fuel and removes more heat as the water evaporates and turns to steam, cooling the fuel below its ignition temperature. Note: the use of water needs to be kept to a minimum as it is a precious resource and may not be readily available, particularly in times of drought.

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Water Supplies
As discussed, water is the most common and effective medium used in re suppression, but where do you get if from? There are primarily two sources from which you can obtain water for reghting:
F static supplies; and F reticulated supplies (mains).

Static supplies
Static supplies are bodies of water, such as dams, rivers, lakes, the sea, tanks, reservoirs or swimming pools. To obtain water from a static supply, reghters must draught water using a pump and suction hose. Refer to the topic Pump Operations, in Chapter 8. Draughting is the action of removing air from the suction hose and pump casing, creating a vacuum. Atmospheric pressure then forces water up the hose and into the pump to replace the vacuum. Note: Hard suction hose must be used to prevent the hose collapsing as the air is removed. In some remote areas, large reghting water tanks with outlet valves are installed. These outlets, which may be gravity fed and not pressurised, can be used to obtain water during reghting operations.

Figure 120 water tank from static supply

Reticulated supplies (mains)


In most cases water is fed from catchment areas, such as dams, to service reservoirs. From these reservoirs, a network of water mains deliver water to consumers for domestic and industrial purposes. Hydrants are attached to the water mains at regular intervals along its length to enable water to be obtained. You can use hydrants to:
F supply water to a re appliance; and F supply water to a branch via a hose for

attacking a re.

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Equipment
To operate a hydrant you may need a hydrant key and a standpipe (portable hydrant) depending on the hydrant in question.

Types of hydrants
There are three main types of hydrants that you may use.
F Millcock installed to provide a

Spindle

convenient source of water to which a re hose may be connected for reghting purposes. They may be found inside structures, sometimes inside hose reel cabinets, or outdoors depending on the risk they protect.

Hydrant & hose key

Shipping handles Threaded collar Hydrant lugs


Figure 121 standpipe and key Figure 122 Millcock hydrant

A hydrant key is used for:


F lifting and removing the hydrant cover

plate from a Ground Ball hydrant;


F loosening dirt and rubble underneath a

hydrant cover plate; and


F turning the hydrant on and off.

A portable hydrant/standpipe is used to raise the outlet of a below ground Ground Ball hydrant to above ground level.

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F L-Type hydrant work on the principle of a

valve being operated to control the ow of water. You will need to use a hydrant key to operate the valve.

Figure 124 Ground Ball/Fire plug with standpipe/portable hydrant attached

Operating hydrants
Figure 123 L-Type hydrant

When operating a hydrant, you should follow the appropriate Fire Ground Practice.

Note: when using an L-Type hydrant, if water is unavailable or the ow has failed, ensure that the valve has been closed. This removes the danger of the valve remaining open when the water supply is restored.
F Ground Ball hydrant also referred to

Operating a Millcock or L-type hydrant


F Remove the cover and cap; F ush the hydrant to remove debris before

connecting a hose;
F open the valve slowly to prevent water

as a plug or re plug, the Ground Ball hydrant requires the use of a standpipe/ portable hydrant. The standpipe spindle is lowered by rotating the standpipe handle in a clockwise direction. The bell at the bottom of the spindle pushes the ball of the Ground Ball hydrant down, allowing water to ow through.

hammer and damage to the hose (especially if the hose is connected directly to the branch), and prevent potential injury to reghters; and
F close the valve slowly to prevent water

hammer and a possible burst water main.

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Operating a Ground Ball hydrant


When operating a below ground (Ground Ball) hydrant that requires a standpipe, after removing the cover plate, you should:
F check that there are no snakes, spiders

Note: when shipping a standpipe ensure no part of your body is placed over the top of the standpipe. Kneel on one knee with your head to one side of the standpipe.

Hydrant markers
Water supply authorities, councils and re authorities may provide markers to indicate the locations of hydrants. These markers are designed to be seen easily during the day or at night. The marking systems used vary considerably.

or other insects when removing the cover plate. Use a torch at night to inspect the hydrant box;
F be alert for broken glass or syringes in the

hydrant pit;
F clear debris from around the hydrant lugs

and sealing ring;


F before inserting the standpipe, ensure

its threaded collar is screwed completely down to the base, the washer is in place, the spindle is wound completely up and the spindle bell is in place and swivels freely;
F insert and secure the standpipe under the

hydrant lugs and tighten by turning the standpipe clockwise;


F ush the hydrant to remove debris before

connecting a hose;
F open the valve slowly to prevent water

hammer and damage to the hose (especially if the hose is connected directly to the branch), and prevent potential injury to reghters;
F close the valve slowly to prevent water

hammer and a possible burst water main; and


F after use, ensure that the hydrant is

Figure 125 examples of hydrant and water point markers

properly closed so that water pressure reseats the ball and there are no water leaks, and that the hydrant pit is left clean of debris.

You should seek assistance to identify the systems in your area.

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Applying Water
Water may be applied as:
F a jet; F a spray; or F a fog.

When using a jet, you should direct the stream at the seat of the re and move the jet across all burning material to achieve maximum cooling. The jet can also be used to penetrate or break up burning material.

Jet pattern
A jet is an unbroken stream of water projected from a nozzle. It is designed to give maximum throw. The principle purpose of a jet is to achieve a long reach, penetrate ames and attack the seat of a re.

Advantages
F Has the longest reach of the

three patterns;
F provides greater penetration; F is least affected by wind; and F is less affected by radiant heat.

Disadvantages (depending on the size of branch selected)


F Jet reaction (the backward force generated

by the stream of water) is increased with high pressure and reghters tire more quickly;
F it causes considerable damage if misused; F it may conduct electricity; F a lot of water may be wasted; and F it may blast hot embers across a

control line.

Spray pattern
Figure 126 jet pattern

Note: in gures 126 to 128 note how the hose is held locked in under the arm and the branch is held with both hands. This uses the full body weight to hold and move hose forward. Hose is not to be positioned or held over the shoulder in order to avoid shoulder or back injury.

The spray nozzle, or variable control branch, breaks the water stream into small droplets. These small droplets have a much larger total surface area than a jet. Therefore, a given volume of water in a spray will absorb more heat than the same volume of water in a jet. The absorption of heat converts water to steam and extinguishes the re by reducing the heat and, to a lesser extent, by smothering the re.

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Figure 127 spray pattern

Figure 128 fog pattern

Advantages
F Accelerates the rate at which water is

Advantages
F Covers a larger surface area than spray

converted to steam, removing more heat from the surrounding re; and
F covers a larger area more quickly.

or jet;
F maximises the rate at which water is

Disadvantages
F Has a shorter reach than a jet; F is easily affected by wind; F will not effectively cool hot spots or objects

converted to steam, removing more heat from the surrounding re than a spray pattern;
F minimises the damage to property; and F provides protection to reghters from

radiant heat.

unless it is applied directly onto them;


F has less penetration capability; and F uses more water than a jet pattern.

Disadvantages
F Has the shortest reach; F is affected by wind; F can impede visibility; and F uses more water than jet or spray.

Fog pattern
A fog pattern consists of extremely ne particles of water that form a mist or fog stream. The greater heat absorption properties of fog means that more of the fog stream turns to steam when it hits the re. Consequently there is less run off and less free surface water reducing the potential for property or environmental damage.

Note: select ow nozzles have the same water ow rates selected whether on jet, spray or fog patterns.

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Using the branch


When using a branch, it is essential that you hold it correctly. This will reduce operator fatigue, prevent accidents and ensure safe, efcient and effective reghting. Pumps working on too high a pressure will always make branch handling difcult. If you feel you are losing control of a branch or delivery line, request delivery pressure to be reduced. When assisting on a branch, always keep the hose that is laid out immediately behind the branch operator as straight as possible. This will reduce the effects of back pressure and allow for better control.
Knockdown with a strong jet.

Directing the water stream


To extinguish a re, direct the water stream at the base of the burning fuel and not at the ames. This method will effectively extinguish the re and conserve water. You should adjust your nozzle to obtain the most effective reghting stream. In a direct attack on a bushre, you will use a jet to knock down (establish a break in) the re edge and cool an area, then move in and turn the nozzle to spray, widening the area covered. Once you are able to move around the re, conserve water by spraying along, rather than across, the re edge.

Once you are able to move around the re edge, use water wisely by spraying water along rather than across the edge. Spray along reline for maximum effect.

Black out efciently using a jet or a spray directed at the seat of burning or smouldering fuel.

Figure 129 applying water

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Conserving water
When working on the reground plan your activities carefully to avoid wasting water. In remote areas, water may have to be carried over long distances so maximise its effective use.
F Use an appropriate hose diameter and

Fire Retardants
Retardants are reghting chemicals applied on, or ahead of, a re front to reduce the res rate of spread or intensity. They are not used to directly suppress combustion in the aming zone. Retardants can be applied from tankers, but generally they will be dropped from aircraft. Retardants have an environmental impact that needs to be considered. Fire retardants can be broadly categorised as short-term and long-term.

type always select the smallest nozzle that will do the job safely, effectively and efciently;
F shut off the nozzle when water is no

longer required;
F use a jet for initial knockdown and then

change to spray or a combination of a jet and a backup spray so that water covers the greatest possible area;
F direct water at the point where it will

Long-term retardants
Long-term retardants are chemicals, usually ammonium salts, which are mixed with water to form a slurry with a consistency and colour similar to tomato sauce. The slurry not only coats the fuel, thereby acting as a physical barrier, but the chemical also retards the combustion process.

have the maximum effect, for example, at the base of the burning fuel and not the ames;
F where appropriate, use additives such as

foam or wetting agents to make the water more effective;


F reduced pump pressure may be adequate

for blacking out and will conserve water; and


F by using water efciently more time is

spent in active reghting and less time in travel and relling. In forest reghting where gaining access to the re can be difcult and water may need to be carried many kilometres, a combination of dry and wet reghting techniques have proven to be an effective method of conserving water. Fuels may be allowed to burn out to mineral earth control lines, strategically placed to contain the re, with the use of water reserved mainly for patrol activities, mopping up/blacking out and crew or asset protection.

Figure 130 aerial bombing with a re retardant reduces the res rate of spread

Long-term retardant slurries are effective after the water has evaporated from them, and will continue to retard combustion for many days after application, or until it rains.

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Higher intensity res will generally breach the retardant barrier through spotting or crown re activity. Long-term retardants can be applied by specialised ground-based equipment, but are more commonly used in aerial rebombing operations, particularly to slow the spread of res in remote areas while ground crews travel to them.

Class A foam
Class A foam is used to lower the surface tension of water. This allows water to spread over a larger area and improve its ability to penetrate and cool Class A fuels (carbon based fuels such as grass, forest, scrub, ground litter and peat). Note: the following information relating to Class A foam production and application is intended only to provide an awareness of the use and benets of Class A foam. Before using this extinguishing medium, reghters who will be involved in the handling, mixing and/or application of Class A foam concentrates or solutions should refer to their agencys requirements in relation to training, so that they protect their own and others health and safety, and to minimise impact on the environment.

Short-term retardants
Short-term retardants, the most common example of which is Class A foam, rely almost entirely on their ability to retain water, thereby cooling the re and keeping fuels ahead of the re too moist to burn. Once the water evaporates the retardant action ends.

Production and application of Class A foam


Class A foam is produced by mixing Class A foam concentrate with water. This mixture is known as solution. The required amount of Class A foam concentrate is added to water by special proportioning equipment. The amount can be varied between 0.1% and 1% to best suit the type of fuel to which the foam or solution is to be applied. Class A foam can be applied in solution form (non aspirated) via conventional nozzles using a jet or spray pattern. It can also be applied via a foam making branchpipe (aspirated), which inducts air into the solution to produce a large quantity of bubbles.

Figure 131 applying Class A foam

When used as a retardant, Class A foams may be effective for 20 to 40 minutes depending on the foam solution strength, type of application, weather conditions and re intensity.

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Solution is generally applied to horizontal porous fuels such as grass, forest oor litter, peat or deep seated heat beds such as windrows, logs and mulch piles for rapid penetration of the fuel, where wetter is better. Finished foam (or aspirated foam) sticks to vertical surfaces and has a slow drainage time. The foam blanket holds water to the fuel, allowing maximum cooling and penetration, and minimises wasteful runoff. It is ideally suited to vertical fuels such as scrub and forest, and for the protection of structures threatened by bushre. Class A foam can be applied by ground crews or via aircraft.

Benets of Class A foam


Foam application is simple to apply and provides many benets over that of plain water.
F It is visible when applied and therefore

allows reghters to avoid over- or under application;


F provides a short-term re barrier; F extends the useful life of water; F reduces the time required to extinguish

res by improving the efciency of the use of water; and


F reduces mop-up time.

Class A foams affect on the re triangle


Class A foam acts on the three components of the re triangle heat, oxygen and fuel in the following ways, best remembered by the use of the acronym CIIPS:

Safety precautions
This section deals with the Class A foam safety precautions when using concentrate, solution and generally. Take the time to read each part. Concentrate Class A foam concentrate is a concentrated detergent and as such there are several precautions that need to be taken when handling, working with or applying Class A foam. As with any substance, a small percentage of the population may be allergic to, or have an unusual sensitivity to a specic product.
F A risk assessment must be undertaken

Cools fuel with water in the foam bubble


or solution.

Isolates fuel with a foam blanket. Insulates fuel against radiant heat with water
held in the foam blanket and reected away from the white foam mass.

Penetrates fuel with solution as it drains


from the foam bubble, which makes the fuel too wet to burn.

Smothers combustion with the foam blanket


excluding oxygen.

by a Class A trained operator as a rst step prior to using Class A foam to ensure that health and safety of personnel is not compromised;
F inhalation of foam vapours should be

avoided by decanting concentrate in a well ventilated area, preferably outdoors; and

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F when decanting Class A foam concentrates

F care should be taken when working in

you must wear bushre overalls or two piece ensemble (personal protective equipment kits are available and supplied on appliances equipped with Class A foam); nitrile or neoprene gloves; rubber or leather boots; safety goggles; P2 nuisance level organic vapour respirator (non cartridge type); and bushre helmet. Solution
F When using foam solution (0.1% to 1.0%)

areas covered with Class A foam, as trip hazards and holes may be concealed underneath the foam blanket;
F Class A concentrate and solution

contribute to slippery conditions for personnel and appliances. Affected areas should be closely monitored and avoided where necessary;
F if skin comes into contact with concentrate

or solution wash off with water;


F eyes splashed with foam concentrate or

solution should be ushed immediately with clean water for at least 10 minutes;
F clothing and/or footwear soaked with foam

you must wear bushre overalls or two piece ensemble; barrier cream for hands; leather gloves; rubber or leather boots; safety goggles or glasses; and bushre helmet.
F Foam solution coming in direct contact

concentrate should be removed as soon as possible and thoroughly rinsed with water; and
F ingestion of foam concentrate or solution

must be avoided. If this should occur, seek immediate medical attention.

Environmental precautions
F Avoid use on, or around, organic farms; F do not allow foam or its run off to enter

with skin may remove skin oils, leaving skin dry. This may be avoided with the application of a topical cream or lotion (barrier cream) to exposed areas of skin including the face and hands. General
F All personnel working in areas where

into rivers, streams, lakes or any form of domestic water storage;


F maintain a 50 m buffer zone from any

body of water or avoid the use of Class A foam altogether;


F locate mixing or loading areas away from

any body of water;


F do not ush into drains; and F if there are any spills of concentrate, it is

Class A foam is being used on the ground or dropped from aircraft are to be advised and appropriate care taken to avoid contamination of any personnel.

to be absorbed into sand or earth and disposed of properly.

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Wetting Agents
These are chemicals that reduce the surface tension of water and allow it to spread out and therefore, cover a greater area. Some wetting agents are corrosive and care must be taken when using them. The diagram below illustrates a leaf sprayed with plain water and the same leaf sprayed with a similar volume of water to which a wetting agent has been added.

effect of a wetting agent

Advantages
F More economical use of water; and F better penetration of fuels.

Precautions
F Never drink water from tankers or

knapsacks as there may be a wetting agent in the water; and


F thoroughly clean all pumps, knapsacks

and sprays with clean water after using any corrosive wetting agent, and replenish with fresh water.

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Notes

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F Fire extinguishing mediums include: F Hydrant markers may be provided by

water; Class A foam; re retardants; and wetting agents.


F Water is the most common and effective

councils or re/water supply authorities to indicate the location of hydrants.


F When operating a below ground hydrant

check for snakes, spiders, broken glass, syringes or other debris. Use a torch at night.
F There are three main water application

medium for extinguishing a re. It works by wetting the fuel and reducing its temperature.
F Conserve the use of water. F A static water supply is a body of water, for

patterns: jet; spray; and fog.


F Jet patterns have the longest reach and

example a river or dam.


F A reticulated water supply is water fed

from catchments to service reservoirs. The water is then directed through a network of mains to consumers.
F Hydrants are tted to water mains at

greatest penetration and can be used to knock down the head of the re.
F Spray patterns cover a larger area and

removes more heat from the surrounding re than a jet pattern.


F Fog patterns cover the largest area

regular intervals.
F A standpipe, or portable hydrant, is a

piece of equipment used to raise the outlet of a below ground hydrant to above ground level.
F Hydrants supply water to a re appliance

and remove the most heat from the surrounding re than either a jet or spray pattern.
F Spray and fog patterns are adversely

or to a branch via a hose for attacking a re. The three types of hydrants you may use are: Millcock; L-Type; and Ground Ball.

affected by wind, have less penetration and use more water than a jet pattern.
F Holding the branch correctly and

having someone assist will reduce operator fatigue.

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F To extinguish a re, direct water at the

F When using Class A foam consideration

base of the burning fuel rather than at the ames.


F Take care to avoid wasting water by:

must be given to environmental factors including: avoiding use around organic farms; preventing run off entering water ways (maintain 50 m buffer); and soaking up spills of concentrate with dirt or sand and disposing of waste properly.
F Class A foam should only be used by

using the smallest nozzle that will do the job safely; shutting off the water when it is not required; applying water to the re correctly; and using wetting agents as appropriate.
F A re retardant is a reghting substance

designed to retard combustion, rather than to directly suppress it. It is applied on or ahead of a re front to reduce the res rate of spread or intensity.
F A long-term re retardant coats the fuel

reghters who have been trained in its correct handling and safe use and associated equipment.
F A wetting agent is a chemical that reduces

and also includes a chemical that retards the combustion process.


F A short-term re retardant retains moisture,

the surface tension of water, causing it to spread out and cover a wider area. Water is used more economically with wetting agents, and penetrates compacted fuels better.
F Never drink from tanks or knapsacks as

thereby cooling the re and keeping fuels ahead of the re too moist to burn.
F Class A foam is used to extinguish carbon

there may be wetting agents in the water.

based fuels. It works by CIIPS. Cools; Isolates; Insulates; Penetrates; and Smothers.

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Chapter 8 Pump Operation


Pumps are one of the most basic and important items of reghting equipment. They are used for supplying a pressurised source of water in the quantity required for the reght. You need to be able to prime and operate pumps tted on a tanker. This chapter will cover: F pumps and pumping operations; F types of pumps; F pumping operations; and F water relays.

Pumps and Pumping Operations


Each agency has developed procedures to help you use the pump(s) on your appliance. These are in the form of written guidelines following a logical sequence to start the pump engine, operate the pump and deliver water to the re and then shut the pump down. CFA members will work with Fire Ground Practice Section 5 Tankers during their practical training. DSE has a series of Fire Equipment Notes for the purpose of operating equipment. DSE personal will use those in their practical training.

Types of Pumps
Pumps used on reghting appliances fall into two broad categories:
F priming pumps positive displacement

(diaphragm); and
F main pumps (centrifugal). These pumps

are designed to only pump water. They cannot pump air. Hence the requirement for a priming pump.

Priming pumps
A priming pump is needed to remove air from within the main pump casing so that the centrifugal pump can draught water (this is called priming the pump). The priming pump is also used to remove air from a suction hose. This is part of the draughting process.

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The most common priming pump used on tankers is the diaphragm mechanical type.
Plunger rod Handle Metal housing Diaphragm top plate

Construction
The construction of the centrifugal pump is relatively simple. It consists of two main parts, the impeller and the pump casing. The impeller imparts a high velocity (speed) to the water. The casing contains the water and transforms this velocity energy into pressure energy. There is minimum clearance between the pump casing and the moving parts.

Diaphragm bottom plate Inlet valve Inlet

Diaphragm Spring loaded valve Discharge

Impeller
The impeller is a circular, metal casting mounted on a shaft, which rotates. Once the pump is full of water, rotation of the impeller forces the water outwards from the centre (eye) along the vanes of the impeller by centrifugal force to the outer edge (periphery) of the pump casing at high velocity.
Vanes Periphery

Figure 133 diaphragm pump

A mechanical pump (positive displacement) is one in which air is pumped by displacement (movement) between a plunger and the pump casing. The moving parts make an air and watertight seal with the pump casing. A bicycle pump is an example of a positive displacement pump.

Main (centrifugal) pumps


Most, if not all, pumpers and tankers use centrifugal pumps. These pumps may be driven by a vehicles engine or have their own power source. Centrifugal pumps are used because of the benets they offer during reghting operations. They:
F have only one moving part; thus making
Eye

Figure 134 typical impeller (cutaway)

it very unlikely that the pump will break down when in use;
F are simple to maintain; and F can be driven directly by an internal

This induces an ongoing ow of water through the impeller passages by creating a low-pressure area at its inlet, which has the effect of drawing more water into the pump.

combustion engine.

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Casing
The function of the casing is to convert the kinetic energy of the water (energy resulting from the movement of water) to pressure energy when it leaves the impeller. By forcing the water through an increasing diameter passage, the velocity and turbulence of the water is reduced and the kinetic energy is converted into pressure energy. The simplest form of such a passage in the pump casing is known as a volute.

On CFA reghting appliances, pumps, or their delivery outlets, have pressure gauges to indicate water outlet pressure shown in kPa.

7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

10 11

12

13 14 15 16

Pressure x 100 kPa


19 20

17 18

Characteristics of centrifugal pumps


Centrifugal pumps have the following characteristics. You need to understand that for a given pump:
F pressure is at maximum and ow is at

Figure 135 pressure gauge

minimum when all deliveries are closed;


F pressure is at minimum and ow is

at maximum when all deliveries are wide open;


F pressure drops as deliveries are opened,

The water distribution system (plumbing arrangement) and pump provides many options for draughting and delivering water from the tanker.

given constant pump speed; and


F pressure and ow vary directly with pump

Priming pump

To front sprays and upper deck outlets


Tank Fill/ Recirculation

Valved outlet deliveries

Valve 4 Pump inlet

Valve 5

LIVE HOSE REEL

speed, as long as the size of the delivery nozzle is maintained.

TANK SUPPLY TANK FILL

PUMP

TANK

Pump output
Tank to pump supply

Valve 3 FILL Suction line for static water (or for boosting town supply and water relay)

Pressure and ow should be carefully controlled and any changes should be gradual. The importance of this cannot be overstated. Sudden changes in pressure and ow alter jet reaction (force) at the branch. This makes the branch difcult to hold and can place the branch operator at risk.

Valve 1

Valve 2

Figure 136 example of a CFA 3.4D tanker plumbing arrangement

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Pumping Operations
Water used to supply the pump can come from different sources, including:
F a static supply, for example, river, lake,

When draughting, you should be aware that:


F mud, weed or other foreign bodies can

render pumps inoperable;


F the body of water needs to have sufcient

water tank or swimming pool.


F a reticulated pressurised supply, for

volume for the purpose and must be sufciently deep to draught; and
F water levels can rise and fall as the level

example, hydrants; and


F the tank on your tanker.

falls, it may expose the suction hose and draughting will cease. To set up a pump for draughting it is important you follow the appropriate agency proceedures and ensure:
F hose is not punctured or holed; F hard suction hose lengths are coupled

Pumping from a static supply (draughting)


To draught water from a static supply, you will need to use a suction hose.

correctly and connected to the inlet of the pump. Ensure all washers/coupling seals are in place, in a serviceable condition and make an airtight seal wetting coupling ends and seals may aid the ease of assembly;
F couplings are tightened using the correct

method and spanners;


F a strainer, strainer basket (wire or wicker
Figure 137 draughting from a static supply

When draughting, the pump or appliance should be sited on solid ground as near the water as possible. The greater the height of lift from the water surface to the eye of the pump impeller, the more the capacity of the pump is reduced. The maximum practicable vertical lift obtainable under ideal conditions when pumping from a static supply is approximately 8 m.

type) and oat is attached to the free end of the suction hose. The oat and strainer basket prevent mud, weeds or other foreign objects from entering the suction hose;
F the strainer is at a suitable depth below

the surface of the water supply (minimum depth is three times the diameter of the suction hose) to prevent vortices forming. Vortices are the effect of air being drawn into the hose and pump;

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F that the strainer is not resting on the

bottom of the water supply;


F where the suction hose is not permanently

Pumping or boosting from a reticulated water supply


Many reticulated water supply mains can provide an adequate supply of water but the outlet pressure may not be sufcient for reghting. To overcome this, a hose(s) is connected between the hydrant and the pump to increase water delivery pressure. This is known as boosting. When pumping water supplied from a hydrant, use the largest size hose available (or twin lines if necessary), between the hydrant and the pump. This will minimise pressure loss due to friction.

connected to the appliance, the suction hose is supported with a rope line that is adjusted to take the full weight of the suction hose and is tied to the appliance. Use a clove hitch at the strainer coupling and a half hitch on the strainer side of each additional coupling as described in Chapter 6. The free end of the line can be used to guide or recover the suction strainer and oat; and
F padding is used to protect the hose and

rope from abrasion if the appliance is on hard ground. Note: failure to check all of the above may allow an air leak or solid objects to enter the suction hose assembly. This may cause the draughting process to fail.

Figure 138 boosting from a reticulated water supply

The pump operator should:


F connect the supply line from the hydrant

(standpipe) to the pump inlet;


F ensure that the hydrant is opened slowly

to avoid water hammer;


F operate the pump according to the

applicable organisational proceedures;


F maintain continuous water supply to

reghters operating the branch(es); and


F close pump and hydrant valves slowly to

avoid water hammer.

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Pumping from an appliance tank


Pumping from the appliance tank is the most common operation undertaken during bushre reghting operations.

Water Relays
Water relay involves spacing a number of pumps at regular intervals along a route between the water source and the point where water is needed. A water relay is used when the water supply is distant from the reground. It involves connecting lines of hose from one pump to another pump, to where the water is required. The three methods you can use are:
F closed circuit relay; F open circuit relay; and

Figure 139 pumping from an appliance tank

F tanker relay.

It is the most simple pumping operation and involves:


F following the applicable CFA Fire Ground

Closed circuit relay


Water is pumped by the rst pump at the water source through hose lines connected directly to the inlet of the second or booster pump. The second pump may in turn be connected to the inlet of a third pump, and so on until water is delivered to the reground.

Practices or DSE Fire Equipment Notes;


F ensuring the pump is primed; F checking the correct valves are open; F matching water usage to pump

pressure; and
F where applicable, monitoring

water reserve.

Figure 140 closed circuit relay

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Open circuit relay


The rst pump takes water from a source and pumps it through hose lines into some form of reservoir such as a portable dam or tank. The second pump then draughts water from that reservoir through its suction hose and delivers it to another dam and pump, or to its nal destination.

Hose Lay
Before delivery lines are charged with water, check that all excess hose is taken to the re and laid out in S bends to prevent kinking. The last 3 5 m to the branch should be laid out straight to reduce strain on the branch operator.

hose lay

If, during operations, a length of hose is damaged, you should:


F obtain a new length of hose;
Figure 141 open circuit relay

F roll out the hose alongside the damaged

Transporting water
In most rural reghting situations, closed and open circuit pump relays are not practical because the distance between the water supply and the incident is too great. In these situations, relay tankers or water carriers are used to maintain an adequate supply of water to the reground.

length; you will need sufcient hose length(s) to allow for stretch in the original length;
F shut the water off, break the couplings and

connect the new length(s);


F turn water on; and F identify and label the damaged length.

Note: follow agency procedures for identifying and marking the damaged length of hose.

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Chapter 8 Summary
F A pump is a machine, powered by an F Water used to supply the pump can come

external source, which imparts energy to water. Pumps may be divided into two groups: priming; and centrifugal.
F A priming pump is needed to remove

from different sources, including: the tank on the appliance; reticulated pressurized sources; and static supplies.
F Pumping can be undertaken from a static

air from within the main pump casing or from within a suction hose prior to drafting water.
F A main pump, centrifugal, must be primed

supply or a reticulated water supply.


F When draughting from a static supply, the

before use, and has few moving parts (impeller and casing). It is generally reliable and easy to maintain.
F The pressure and ow characteristics

greater the height of lift from the water surface to the eye of the pump impeller, the more the capacity of the pump is reduced.
F Boosting is using the pump to increase the

of main pumps varies with the opening and closing of deliveries and changes in pump speed.
F Pressure and ow from a pump should

outlet pressure when sourcing water from a hydrant.


F When boosting you should use the largest

be carefully controlled and any necessary adjustments should be gradual. Sudden changes in pressure and ow endanger the branch operator.
F Delivery gauges register outlet pressures

size hose available (or twin hose) between the hydrant and pump to minimise pressure loss due to friction.
F Pumping from the appliance tank is the

most common operation undertaken during bushre reghting operations.

in a pump.
F Plumbing on appliances allows water to

be pumped into the tank or pumped to an outlet.

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F Pumps may be spaced at regular intervals

to relay water over long distances using: a closed circuit relay (tanker to tanker); or an open circuit relay (tanker to water reservoir, second tanker drafts from water reservoir).
F Tanker relays (relay tankers or water

carriers) are used where distance make the use of pump relays impractical.
F Hose lays should be laid out in S bends

to prevent kinking with the last 35 m to the branch laid straight.

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Chapter 9 Radio Communication


CFA and DSE use a range of equipment to communicate, two way radio being the most commonly used. It is important that reghters know how to use this equipment, especially in emergency situations where the lives of emergency personnel and the public may depend on your ability to send and receive information accurately. This chapter will cover: F principles of radio communication; F call signs; F radio procedures; F receiving and transmitting messages; F operational procedures; and F emergency transmissions.

Principles of Radio Communication


Radio communication occurs when a message is transmitted via a radio operated by one person and received by a radio operated by another person in a different location. Emergency personnel use two-way radios to receive and transmit information. A two-way radio has two basic parts, a transmitter and a receiver. That is why they are sometimes known as transceivers. When you speak into the microphone, the transmitter changes your voice frequency to radio frequency. It is then transmitted through the aerial to other radios on the same channel as your radio. The receiver picks up the signal from other radios on the same channel and changes radio frequency

back to voice frequency which can then be heard through the speaker. A radio network consists of two or more radios operating on the same frequency for the purpose of communicating with each other. A typical radio network will include:
F base stations high power radios usually

tted in xed locations such as District Head Quarters, Regional Head Quarters, remote bases or at a station;
F mobile radios medium power normally

mounted in vehicles, for example, mobile control vehicles, pumpers, tankers, ultra light tankers, slip ons and other support vehicles; and
F portable radios low power hand held

radios used by a personnel needing to maintain a communications link while away from a base or mobile radio.

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Note the following:


F if you have to send a message some

distance, a mobile radio should be used in preference to a portable radio as mobile radios have higher signal strength (25 watt) and usually have clearer transmissions; and
F portable radios are particularly useful
Mobile radio Portable radio

Figure 143 radio use

in and around an incident. Their lower signal strength (5 watt) means that the risk of interfering with other operations is greatly reduced.

No function

7 3 No function 4 No function 5 No function

1 2 3 4 5

Channel scroll UP Channel scroll DOWN Monitor (un-squelch) External speaker ON/OFF (if fitted) Scan select push and hold for user programmable scan edit 6 Clear key returns mobile to default channel display mode 7 Operational select mode press and hold until beep, to change mobile from conventional mode to trunked mode. Select channel in SCAN EDIT mode

PUSH to talk
1 4GHI 7PRS 2ABC 5JKL 8TUV 3DEF 6MNO 9WXY

No function

Figure 144 key pad functions of a CFA mobile radio

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Base station radios


Base radios operate on the very high frequency or VHF spectrum. They have an external microphone that houses the push to talk (PTT) button. It is necessary to wait approximately 23 seconds after depressing the PTT button before talking this gives the network time to allocate the appropriate repeater channel. They are the most powerful radios as they can operate from a mains voltage supply and are connected to large efcient antennas.

Large amounts of exposure to RF radiation has the potential to affect the body by:
F causing cataracts to form; F affecting the operation of pacemakers and

metallic implants; and


F impacting on pregnant women.

To ensure RF exposure is limited always use the hand piece on portables and stand at least 1 m away from mobile aerials when transmitting. Note: once a mobile radio has been left on a channel for two seconds it will remember that channel. This means when switched on again, the mobile radio will be on the last channel selected before it was switched off.

Mobile radios
Mobile radios also operate on VHF and have an external microphone that houses the PTT button. Again, it is important to wait approximately 23 seconds after depressing the PTT button before talking to give the network time to allocate the appropriate repeater channel. They also have an external antenna, that may be mounted on top of the cab, or the bonnet of a vehicle, to transmit and receive radio waves. Fireghters need to be aware of the potential risk of exposure to RF radiation. Mobile and portable transmitting equipment may be designed to be used close to the body. This can result in exposure to small amounts of non ionizing radiation which does not alter cell structure, but rather has a warming effect on human cells.

Portable radios
Portable radios are self contained hand held radios. They also operate on VHF. They have a shorter range than a mobile radio as they are generally not as powerful and their small aerials do not operate as efciently as a vehicle mounted aerial. It is important to wait approximately 23 seconds after depressing the PTT button before talking to give the network time to allocate the appropriate repeater channel.

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The keypad functions are explained below.


1 No function 2 3 No function

On/Off Volume Control


12

Alias/Number Switch

Rotary Selector Switch

11

13

7 9

15 1
3

A B C

5 6 No function 7 8 9

MOTOROLA

13

External Alarm On-Off/Call In Absence Stack Interrogate Control

LED

Emergency Call Activator

Call Clear Key


MTS 2000
MOTOROLA

Personality Selection Key


CALL PHON PROG

2 5 8 0
HOME

3 6 9 #
A B C

Dedicated Call Key PTTKey


1
11

10

4 7

MTS 2000

7 9

13

15 1
3

Display (3)
1 2 5 8 0
HOME

3 6 9 #

No function

11 No function

4 No function

4 7

No function

Portable Controls 1 ON/OFF and volume control 2 Scan select knob (ON/ OFF) 3 Channel selector 4 Light emitting diode RED ON: Transmitting/ receiving 5 Monitor (squelch) button 6 Personality Selector (Long press 3 seconds) Scan Channel Select button

7 Transmit (PTT) Key Push to Talk, Release to listen 8 Microphone 9 Alpha-numeric display 10 Keypad and Channel selection 11 Scan Edit Select button 12 Universal connector. When installing accessories, turn the radio off and on again 13 Battery latches

Keypad Edit Key Clear Key


Battery Low Logged ON Squelch Unused Scanning

Status Key

Call in Absence

Figure 145 CFA portable controls

Figure 146 key pad functions on DSE portable radio in trunking mode

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DSE Radio Communications


DSEs radio system can be used in two modes:
F the State Mobile Radio or trunking mode;

Another feature of the State Mobile Radio network is a Group Call where a call can be made to a number of radios within a dened geographic area. The Conventional mode provides an open channel that allows all radios on the same channel to communicate with all other radios on the same channel and within range, without any time limit. In Convention mode, there are two types of channels:
F Fire Ground Channels, sometimes called

and
F Conventional mode.

The State Mobile Radio (SMR) or Trunk Radio network provides for statewide one-toone and one-to-many communications. The State Mobile Radio network operates in a similar way to a mobile telephone network: calls can be made exclusively from one radio to another. Radios log-on to a network through contact with a series of radio bases, referred to as towers. When a radio has contact with any one of these bases it has contact throughout the statewide radio network. Calls are time-limited.

Simplex channels, used for short-range (line of sight) transmission between radios; and
F Incident Channels, utilising repeaters for

extending the range of a transmission from one radio to other radios by rebroadcasting a message from a high point. Repeaters can be xed or portable.

Figure 147 operation of the State Mobile Radio

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Flashing Green Searching for network Red - Transmitting

Connected to network

Searching for Control Channel to Connect to network

ON/OFF Volume Switch

Recieving messsge on traffic channel

Call Recieved in absence

Rotary Stored Memory Selection Switch

H/L

Home

Z Z
from Trunked mode to Conventional mode

Srch

Emer

Scan

Phon

Call

Dim

Menu

Sel

Mon

Z Z
Srch Emer Scan Phon Call Dim

Call List scroll UP - (Mobile ID or Phone number) Call List scroll DOWN - (Mobile ID or Phone number) Call In Absence stack interrogate - Review calls received mobile was unattended Initiate emergency call No Function No Function Dedicated Call - Initiate a call to a pre-programmed ID
PUSH to talk

Display

Emer
1 4GHI 7PRS 2ABC 5JKL 8TUV 3DEF 6MNO 9WXY

Call

Status mode - Enter ID to which call is to be made, Press DIM to initiate status call, and then 2 digits to indicate the required status Switch Call List display from mobile or phone number, to alias or name, if programmed. Switch On/Off external alarm output - Horn/Lights alarm for use when out of vehicle Clear key - Clears call and returns mobile to default display mode. Operational mode select - Press and hold until beep to change mobile from Trunked mode to Conventional mode Clear key - Clears call and returns mobile to default display mode.

Keypad Edit/Call Clear

Menu

H/L Home Sel

Mon

Figure 148 key pad functions of a DSE radio in Trunked mode

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Red - Transmitting

Scan On/Off and Scan Edit

ON/OFF Volume Switch

Recieve mode Quiet/Monitor

External Alarm On/Off

Rotary Channel Selection Switch

H/L

Home

Z Z
from Trunked mode to Conventional mode

Srch

Emer

Scan

Phon

Call

Dim

Menu

Sel

Mon

Z Z
Srch Emer Scan Phon Call Dim

Call List scroll UP Call List scroll DOWN No Function No Function in Conventional mode
PUSH to talk

Display

Emer
1 4GHI 7PRS 2ABC 5JKL 8TUV 3DEF 6MNO 9WXY

Scan Select - Push and hold for User Programmable Scan edit No Function Dedicated Call - Initiate a call to a pre-programmed ID No Function No Function

Call

Home

Menu

H/L Home Sel

Switch On/Off external alarm output - Horn/Lights alarm for use when out of vehicle Clear key - Returns mobile to default display mode. Operational mode select - Press and hold until beep to change mobile from Conventional mode to Trunked mode Monitor - Cycle receiver through programmed monitor modes

Mon

Figure 149 key pad functions of a DSE radio in Conventional mode

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The coverage of the radio in Conventional mode is especially dependent on the performance of the radio, its aerial and whether there are any obstacles in its path, for example, hills or heavy tree cover. It is generally of the order of a few kilometres for vehicle-mounted radios and less than a kilometre for handheld radios. Using Conventional mode has distinct advantages for a large number of people in a particular area in situations such as reghting. However, some of the disadvantages may mean that it is not suitable for day-to-day use.

CFA Tait P25 Radio Equipment


CFA and DSE existing analogue Motorola radios have been in service since 1995 and are now near the end of their service life. CFA is progressively replacing these radios with the new Tait P25 radio equipment.

Antenna 16-way selector Power/ volume control Press to talk key 3-way selector Status LEDs Display Right selection Left selection

Managing Radio Trafc the Check System (DSE)


In the event of radio trafc becoming, or potentially becoming, over crowded a person may be nominated to control radio trafc from a central point. All people must check with that person and be given the go ahead instruction before making a radio call. For the latest information refer to the DSE Radio Communications Manual available on the Information page of DSE FireWeb.

Alphanumeric keypad

Scroll up/ down through list of channels/ function # Conrm channel change

Figure 150 key pad functions of Tait TP1960 analogue portable

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The roll-out to CFA brigades and locations commenced in late 2010 and is expected to be complete by mid 2012. The new Tait P25 radio equipment is digital and analogue capable and will operate on the existing CFA analogue systems and networks (excluding the analogue SMR trunked network).

The analogue version of the new Tait radio operates in a similar way to the existing Motorola radios. When the CFA Digital Radio Network is in place the radios will be reprogrammed to operate in digital mode offering a range of additional functions.

Alphanumeric keypad # Conrm channel change

Keypad microphone Radio status LEDs Display

On/Off Volume

Speaker Left selection Scroll up/down through list of channels/function Right selection External speaker on/off

Note: *Digital operation only.


Figure 151 key pad functions of Tait TM9155 analogue mobile

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Call Signs
Each two-way radio on a network is given its own unique call sign, or its own name, including control centres, mobiles and portables. For example:
F a base radio may have the call sign

Rhythm
F Speak naturally and with a normal rhythm; F use complete phrases that make

sense; and
F do not use speech llers such as err, um,

and ah, as these interrupt the rhythm.

Narracan Group;
F the computer aided dispatch centre may

Speed
F Speak steadily at medium speed; F if your message is to be written down,

have the call sign Vicre;


F a mobile radio tted in a tanker may have

the call sign Tanjil Tanker; and


F a portable radio used by the Crew Leader

pause between phrases; and


F release the transmit button during

on the Tanjil tanker may have the call sign Tanjil portable 1. This means that there will be no confusion about who is sending transmissions at an incident.

pauses to conserve power and to allow an emergency message access to the network.

Volume
F Talk slightly louder than in a normal

conversation, but do not shout;

Radio Procedures
It is essential that radio communication on the reground is clear, brief, precise, accurate and inclusive. To ensure this is achieved there are a number of procedures that you need to know, understand and comply with.

F do not allow your voice to fade away at the

end of a message; and


F keep your mouth close to the

microphone and at a constant distance of approximately 5 cm.

Pitch
F Your voice should be pitched higher than

Voice procedure
During radio communications you can ensure that messages are clear and easy to understand by speaking correctly. The following factors are very important.

normal; and
F avoid dropping your voice on the last

syllable of each word and on the last word in each phrase, as people tend to do in normal conversation.

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Sentences
F Sentences should be kept short with easily

recognisable words;
F avoid words likely to cause confusion; and F where appropriate, use the phonetic

This system is used, in conjunction with the pro-words I spell, to communicate words or a series of letters (such as a number plate) by using the phonetic words instead of the letters. For example:
F Registration number of the vehicle is, I

alphabet (see below) to clarify or reinforce the transmission content.

spell, November Papa Charlie, 736.


F The property name is Camel Creek, I

The phonetic alphabet


When using radios to disseminate information, often words and letters can be misunderstood due to distortions or interference. For instance, the letters m and n sound very similar over a radio link, as do, p, b, d, g and e. To negate the effects of such distortions or misunderstandings, the world-wide standard phonetic alphabet, where individual letters are replaced by whole words, has been adopted (see table below). A B C D E F G H I J K L M Alpha Bravo Charlie Delta Echo Foxtrot Golf Hotel India Juliet Kilo Lima Mike N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z November Oscar Papa Quebec Romeo Sierra Tango Uniform Victor Whisky X-ray Yankee Zulu

spell, Charlie, Alpha, Mike, Echo, Lima, Charlie, Romeo, Echo, Echo, Kilo.

Pro-words
Pro-words are standard communication words or phases that have an accepted meaning like verbal shorthand. You need to become familiar with common pro-words, as listed in the table below, as they reduce radio transmission time and increase understanding. The use of standard terminology and pro-words by all services when working together at an incident means that communications will be uniformly the same and effective. Pro-word
Afrmative All stations Cancel Conrm Correction

Meaning
Yes or correct. General call from a base radio to all mobiles and portables on its network. Ignore my previous statement. Reinforce a statement. I have made an error in my transmission.

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Pro-word
Disregard ETA ETD Figures

Meaning
Ignore my last transmission or request. Estimated time of arrival. Estimated time of departure. Used before groups of gures except before call signs and map reference. Alert that the message will involve details of a re. I am ready to receive your transmission. A grid reference follows. I am repeating information. I will spell the word phonetically. Life is at risk all other transmissions to stop. I have a message to transmit. No, or this is incorrect, or permission is not granted. I have not received a reply or heard from the radio whose call sign I have just used. My transmission to you has ended, but I intend calling another radio straight away. I have nished transmitting. Is my signal being received. Signicant change to any critical information that may adversely affect the safety of personnel. I have received and understood your last transmission.

Pro-word
Say again Send (see go ahead) SITREP Standby

Meaning
Please repeat all of your last transmission (or the portion indicated). I am ready to receive your transmission. Situation report of the incident. I must pause and will come back when ready. I must pause for up to ve seconds unless urgent, no other station is to transmit. Message received and will be complied with. Description of the type and situation of a re or incident.

Fire call Go ahead (see send) Grid I say again I spell MAYDAY Message Negative Nothing heard

Wait

Wilco Wordback

Transmitting numbers
Quite often, a transmission will include numbers. Similar to letters and words, numbers can be distorted or confused over a radio therefore, a standard way of pronouncing them has been adopted as per the following table.
Number Pronunciation Number Pronunciation

Out to you Out Radio check Red Flag Warning

0 1 2 3 4

Zero Wun Too Three Fower

5 6 7 8 9

Fife Six Sev-en Ate Niner

Roger

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When transmitting numbers (except for call signs and map references) the pro-word gures should be used. For example, approximately 750 litres left would be approximately, gures, sev-en fe zero, litres left. Ensure that each digit is pronounced separately except in cases of exact multiples of one hundred or one thousand.

Receiving and Transmitting Messages


Now that you understand radio procedures, you should be ready to receive and transmit messages.

Receiving a message
When you receive a message, the procedure for answering is as follows: 1 Give the call sign of the station you are replying to. 2 Give your call sign. 3 Say, send. For example:
F You receive a call Fiskville tanker, this

Transmitting time
When transmitting time, the 24 hour clock model is used to avoid confusion. Time in the 24 hour clock model is represented as a four gure number. The rst two gures being the hours after midnight (from 0100 to 2300), the second two gures being minutes. The word hours must follow a transmission of time. The table below gives examples and the correct pronunciation when transmitting a time.
Time
12:08 am 09:00 am 10:30 am 12:16 pm 3:45 pm 6:28 pm 10:00 pm 11:58 pm

is Fiskville.
F You reply Fiskville, this is Fiskville

24 hr
0008 hrs 0900 hrs 1030 hrs 1216 hrs 1545 hrs 1828 hrs 2200 hrs 2358 hrs

Pronunciation
zero zero zero ate hours zero nine hundred hours ten thirty hours twelve sixteen hours fteen forty-fe hours eighteen twenty-ate hours twenty two hundred hours twenty tree fty-ate hours

tanker, send. This will acknowledge to the calling station that you are able to hear them and that you are prepared to take their message. Be aware that there may be some variation in the pro-words used for receiving a message. A common pro-word is to say, go ahead instead of send.

Transmitting a message
Before you begin to transmit, be clear about who you are calling and what you want to say. You should also listen rst before you transmitting to make sure you are not breaking in on other transmissions. Wait three seconds before transmitting.

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Your transmissions must be clear and concise. Remember, if a radio message is begun too quickly after the PTT button is pressed, the rst part of the message may be lost. To prevent this, pause briey after pressing the PTT button. The following is the accepted procedure for transmitting a message. 1 Give the call sign of the station you are calling and your call sign. 2 The station being called will acknowledge. 3 Repeat the call sign of the station you are calling, your call sign and give your message. 4 Receive acknowledgement. For example:
F You initiate a call Fiskville, this is

The word is was the last correct word transmitter and is repeated as the catchword.

Repetition
To provide emphasis, or to ensure comprehension by the receiver, the sender may repeat a word, phrase, or a complete message using the pro-words I say again. For example Fiskville Tanker, this is Fiskville, you are to remain at the end of Black Street. I say again, at the end of Black Street. If a message is unclear, the receiver may ask that a message, or part of it, be repeated. A receiver asks for repetition or correction by using the pro words Say again followed by the specics:
F Say again word before; F Say again word after; F Say again all before; F Say again all after; or F Say again all between.

Fiskville tanker.
F You receive the reply Fiskville tanker

this is Fiskville, send.


F You send your message Fiskville,

Fiskville tanker is going out for fuel.


F You receive acknowledgement Fiskville

tanker, Fiskville, roger.

For example, you would send Fiskville Tanker, say again all between are and street. Fiskville would reply Fiskville, are to remain at the end of Black Street.

Correcting mistakes
When sending a message, you may realise you have made a mistake. To x the mistake the word correction is used. The last word correctly transmitted is repeated as a catchword. For example, Fiskville, this is Fiskville tanker, re is under control. Correction is not yet under control.

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Communication difculties
If two radios are having difculty communicating, radio trafc can be improved by a third station acting as a relay. For example, an operator listening on a mobile may notice that another mobile is having trouble receiving transmissions from the communications centre and so acts as a relay, passing the messages onto the other mobile and back to the communications centre.

Figure 152 aerial identication number on a tanker

Communicating with aircraft


Increasingly, re, police, ambulance and emergency service vehicles are being supported at incidents by aircraft. At large incidents, many of the vehicles present may appear similar from the air. One method adopted to enable the air observer to communicate effectively with a particular vehicle is to place large alphanumeric signs (combinations of letters of the alphabet and gures) in prominent locations on a vehicles roof, a label with identical identication is xed to the vehicle dashboard. You need to ensure you know your identication details, as you may need aircraft assistance or need to be advised to move from a water bombing area.

Coded messages (CFA)


Numbered codes may also be used to indicate how a crew is responding to an incident. For example:
F Code 1 indicates that an appliance is to

respond to an incident using lights and/ or sirens.


F Code 3 indicates travel under normal

trafc conditions, no lights or siren.

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Operational Procedures (CFA)


Lack of discipline and poor radio procedures on a network can have serious consequences. If an emergency transmission cannot get through it can result in a fatality. Therefore, a number of operational procedures are in place to ensure that radio operators follow a set discipline and provide information in a particular sequence. One method of maintaining a formal sequence of messages is shown below. It is based on the model used by the Bureau of Emergency Services Telecommunications (BEST) in Victoria.

These messages indicate the following:


F Turn out you have left your home

location (station or workplace) and are proceeding to the incident.


F On scene you have arrived at the

incident scene. Messages sent immediately after arrival at the incident includes the following:
F Wordback a precise denition of the

status of the re or the incident.


F SITREP a situation report which gives a

more detailed description of the incident including the information shown in the table opposite.
F Messages these allow opportunities

for additional requests or to provide further information.


Structure Wordback Non-structure Not yet under control

Grass Turn-out On scene SITREP Scrub Under control

Optional messages and SITREPs

Returning

In station

Incident Stop Messages False alarm

Figure 153 sequence of radio trafc

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Situation types
This enables you to be more specic about the incident. It may involve:
F structure re or non-structure re; F grass or scrub re; F an incident; F false alarm; or F special service.

Some terms are:


F Investigating further investigation

is required to establish the status and precise location of the re, or incident.
F Not yet under control the re or incident

has the potential to spread or increase in difculty. The appliances and personnel in attendance may not be sufcient.
F Under control the resources in

The use of such denitions enables your dispatcher, or base operator, to quickly locate and record the appropriate information.

attendance and en route are sufcient to contain the incident.


F Stop the resources presently in

Incident status
This is given as part of a wordback and includes the regular advice to your base about the status of the incident that you are attending. It enables possible requirements to be anticipated and also gives an indication of the time you will remain at the incident.

attendance at the incident are sufcient. Resources that are en route are not required and may return to their own locations. These are also standard denitions used to describe the size and status of a re as per the table below.

Spot Small Medium Large Going Contained Controlled Safe

0.5 hectare. 0.5 5 hectares. 5 50 hectares. More than 50 hectares. Fire spreading on the perimeter. Fire not spreading on the perimeter but requires work to bring it under control. Fire only requires patrol. Fire can be left without further patrol. Figure 154 standard denitions of size and status of a re

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Returning and in station messages


These messages indicate to your base that:
F Returning the calling mobile radio

Note: MAYDAY calls may need to be relayed where communication difculties are being experienced.

Priority of call
MAYDAY calls have absolute priority over all other transmissions.

operators vehicle has left the incident and is returning to its station or workplace. The crew is available to respond to another incident.
F In station indicates that the vehicle

Action by the control station


This call will be addressed to the control station. The control station will deal with all trafc and control originated by this call. Should the control station be unable to receive the MAYDAY call, an intercepting station will acknowledge the call and assume temporary control. This station will inform the control station of the call and will continue to act as the control station until the emergency is over, or until the normal control station can make contact with the station transmitting the MAYDAY signal.

has returned to its home location and is available to respond to another incident.

Emergency Transmissions
There is a recognised communication procedure to be used where there is a threat to the lives of reghters or civilians. The priority for emergency transmissions or warnings (from highest to lowest) is: 1 MAYDAY; 2 Red Flag Warning; then 3 other messages such as Fireground Information Updates a regular broadcast of key information including weather, communications, plan of attack, warnings of hazards and re activity.

Action by other persons


All persons other than the control station hearing MAYDAY will:
F immediately cease all transmissions; F continue to listen for and log further

transmissions relating to the call; and


F maintain silence until such time as the

Use of the MAYDAY message


The MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY message is only to be used when:
F the person(s) transmitting the MAYDAY

control station transmits a message indicating that normal work may be resumed.

signal is threatened by grave and imminent danger and requires immediate assistance.

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Your MAYDAY call


Should include:
F Identication: Fiskville tanker 1. F Location: Bacchus Marsh Mount Wallace

Fireground Information Update


The Fireground Information Update is to be used to distribute important and urgent reground information. It is to become the vehicle for the planned distribution of key safety information to all reghters on a routine basis, in a manner that they can predict and readily access. It may be a radio broadcast or printed copy and contains information about weather conditions and forecast changes, key decisions about reground sectorisation and control, and information about current backburning operations, for example, location, timing and commander. A Fireground Information Update does not require an acknowledgment process thus allowing quick and comprehensive distribution of the information, but should be widely distributed to reghters on the reground.

Road Map 319, grid ref 538 614.


F Situation: Threatened by approaching

bushre from the North West.


F What assistance is required: Require

aerial support from water bombers.


F Aerial identication number if relevant.

For example: MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY, this is Fiskville tanker 1 on the Bacchus Marsh Mount Wallace Road Map 319, grid ref 538 614. We are being threatened by approaching bushre from the North West. We require aerial support from water bombers. Our aerial ID is 20U. Note: be sure your message is acknowledged from your control station.

Red Flag Warning


As discussed in Chapter 1, a Red Flag Warning is issued when there is a signicant change to any critical information that may adversely affect the safety of personnel.

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F A radio network generally consists of base F Time is transmitted using the 24

stations, mobile radios and portable (hand held) radios.


F Emergency personnel use two-way radios

hour clock.
F The procedure to follow when receiving a

radio message is: give the call sign of the station you are replying to and your call sign; and say, Send.
F The procedure for transmitting a radio

to receive and transmit information.


F A base station radio will generally transmit

the longest distance, followed by mobile then portable radios.


F Each radio on a network is given its own

unique call sign.


F To ensure that messages are clear

message is: give the call sign of the station you are calling and your call sign; listen for the station being called to acknowledge; repeat the call sign of the station you are calling and your call sign; give your message; and listen for acknowledgement from the station you have transmitted to.
F A MAYDAY transmission indicates that

consider the following: rhythm; speed; volume; pitch; sentences; and correcting mistakes.
F The phonetic alphabet is used to spell

words or a series of letters.


F Pro-words are standard communication

words that have an accepted meaning, like shorthand.


F The pro-word gures is used before

the person transmitting is threatened by grave and imminent danger and requests immediate assistance.

the transmission of numbers other than grid references.

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F For MAYDAY calls, the person transmitting

should include the following information: identication; location; situation; and what assistance is required.
F The priority for emergency transmissions

or warnings (from highest to lowest) is: MAYDAY; Red Flag Warning; then other messages.

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On responding to a call out you will need to ensure that certain preparations have been completed. These preparations involve your physical well being and ensuring that you are fully equipped for the task about to be undertaken. Prior to proceeding to a re personal protective clothing and equipment, food and uid requirements are identied and the most effective route to the re is determined, taking into account local conditions. This chapter will cover: F personal preparation; F call outs; F pre-departure checks; F locating the re; and F map reading.

Personal Preparation
Fireghting is hard work and you must be physically t in order to carry out many of the required tasks. You need to consider you situation if you are affected by:
F illness; F injury; F tiredness resulting from, for example,

Call Outs
On receiving a call out, you should respond as per your agencys procedures or brigade pre-plans. Response may be via the following locations:
F the re station or work centre; F directly to a re; or F to a Staging Area.

previous reghting activities, sleeplessness or home activities; and/or


F drugs, including prescription drugs

When responding you must report to the Ofcer-in-Charge on arrival to ensure that:
F your presence is recorded; F you are briefed on the situation; F you are allocated to a vehicle and crew; F tasks are allocated in accordance with

or alcohol. It may not be appropriate or safe for you to respond.

your level of competence; and


F personal protective clothing and

equipment is checked.

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Pre-departure Checks
On arrival at the station or work depot you should check:
F personal protective clothing and

Check your... Overalls/ ensemble

Check for... Are they clean? Free from tears, fraying or broken clips? Are they clean? Free from holes/tears? Disposable, are they new? Are they clean? Is the internal head harness and outer shell in good condition?

equipment;
F extinguishing media and equipment; F food and uids; F maps; F hose; F batteries; F fuel; F cooling system; F lights and warning lights; F sirens; and F tyres.

Gloves

Dust/smoke masks

Helmet

Is the chin strap if tted, rm? (Remember that helmet protection will not be adequate unless the chin strap is done up.) Are your boots in serviceable condition?

Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment


CFA and DSE reghters are issued with standard clothing, including safety helmet, long sleeve overalls or two piece ensemble, boots, gloves goggles and dust/smoke mask.

Boots

Adequate sole grip? Any holes in soles? Firm support and t. Are they clean?

Goggles

In good working condition? Has the elasticised strap perished? Does it include: Clothing? Toiletries? Medication and/or prescriptions where relevant?

Safety checks
Remember: wear non-synthetic loose tting undergarments, for example, cotton or lightweight woollen garments under your personal protective clothing and equipment. Make sure that your protective clothing is worn correctly.

Away bag

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Extinguishing media and equipment


To check the extinguishing media, check the level of water in the appliance tank. If the appliance uses foam, make sure that there is enough foam concentrate in the appliances Class A foam container(s)/tank. As you will be communicating by radio (an important piece of equipment when communicating over a large reground), you must check that your two-way radio is operating on the correct channel. There are many checks that you need to make on the small equipment. These are discussed in the sections devoted to the equipment.

For hygiene purposes make sure any food is sealed and kept in a cool place. DSE reghters should refer to the Health and Fitness section of Fireweb for the latest information on general reghter nutritional information. CFA members will nd nutritional information in the Operational Catering Guidelines.

Locating the Fire


Conrm the location
In many cases the notication will come through VicFire or your duty ofcer. You may also be told of the existence of a re by the general public or as a result of a sighting from a re spotting tower. Regardless of how you are notied, your main concern is reaching the re as quickly and safely y as possible. Local knowledge will be invaluable to you.

Food and uids


Make sure that there are sufcient ration packs and bottled water and electrolyte replacement drinks/powder in your vehicle to meet the immediate needs of the crew. Fireghting demands that high levels of physical and mental tness must be sustained for long periods. To maintain that level of performance your body needs food and water; food to provide energy and nutrients, and water to replace uids lost through sweating. Without them your body cannot function at its optimum level, leading to a decrease in performance and poor decision making. In emergency situations there can sometimes be long delays setting up catering facilities. To ll this gap, CFA has developed a high energy ration pack with enough food and beverage to provide energy and hydration for up to six hours.

Local knowledge
Local knowledge is particularly important in emergency response. Local knowledge may suggest likely re behaviour and can assist in the safe deployment of responding vehicles to the re location.

Terrain
Knowledge of the terrain, vegetation type, fuel hazard and arrangement in which a re is burning may suggest possible re behaviour. Local terrain may lead to the development of complex re behaviour. The terrain can impact the safety of an operation in terms of the deployment of responding vehicles to the re location.

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Access to the re or deployment of appliances or heavy machinery may be on the same level as the re, down slope of the re or, up slope of the re. Terrain may also adversely effect two way radio communications resulting in blackspots where direct radio communications with responding vehicles is not possible.

Getting to the re
Local knowledge will provide the most effective route to the re. You will need to consider both walking and vehicular access. Keep in mind the space needed to turn vehicles around, and the potential for them to become bogged. You need to be familiar with the following:
F topography (lay of the land) including hills,

Local conditions
Local weather and conditions may determine the initial level of response. The urgency of response and resource requirements associated with a re burning in cool weather, in terrain where the fuel hazard is low, fuel moisture content is high and where there is minimal threat to life and property would be quite different to a re that was burning under high re danger weather conditions, in terrain with high fuel loadings, low moisture content and a high level of threat to life and property.

gullies and creeks;


F roads and tracks not accessible for

conventional 2WD vehicles;


F narrow roads with single access and

limited parking areas;


F road surfaces sealed/unsealed/pot-

holed/corrugated/undriveable after rain;


F road/tracks with locked gates need to be

able to locate the keys;


F train crossings/boom gates; F narrow bridges or causeways with reduced

load limits;
F local landmarks; F days when local user trafc increases

Weather
Knowing weather conditions at the time of the call can assist crews to determine the most effective and safe route to the re. For example, weather conditions will affect the direction and rate of spread of the re. When gathering weather details, responding crews should consider any indications of change (present or forecast) that may affect their safety and impact the overall response and suppression strategies and tactics implemented. Note: crews must be watchful for any changes in wind speed or direction and the effects of local topography on re behaviour.

greatly, for example, market days, cattle sales, and during harvesting;
F quick retreat or escape routes; F safe zones; F re breaks (natural and purpose built); and F obstacles to responding appliances

such as other road users; visibility (smoke, day, night); fallen timber; downed power lines that can energise metal/wire fences for some distance; re intensity; direct ame contact; and terrain.

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It is this local knowledge that will help you to nd the re quickly, avoiding traps and selecting the safest and most effective route. This will not always be the shortest route.

F identify the location of static water

supplies;
F identify anchor points and escape routes; F understand unfamiliar terrain; F assign areas of responsibility; F identify boundaries; and F communicate the location of the incident,

Map Reading
Maps are a at representation of the earths surface at a given point in time. They can provide you with a detailed insight into the local landscape and its natural features through the use of signs and symbols. They are produced at various scales, showing various levels of detail, and printed with a grid system to help pinpoint your location or the location of a specic incident or feature.

and more importantly your location, by the use of grid references.

Are maps reliable?


It is important to note the date on which a map was produced or revised. This will tell you how current the information is. If it has been a long time since the map was developed a lot may have changed. Towns may have been established, roads and railways built, forests and scrub may have been allowed to grow or been cut down and boundaries may have changed. There is also the possibility that access roads have deteriorated or been upgraded.

Why are maps important?


They show where water supplies, roads, vegetation and landforms are located. Knowledge of how these features are represented on a map helps in planning re prevention activities, suppressing res and in responding to other emergencies. Map reading skills are particularly important in emergency response. Maps provide you with information to enable you to:
F determine your position; F locate natural and man-made features; F plan re prevention and suppression

Using a map to select a suitable route to or from an incident


The best route to or from an incident is one that gets you to your destination quickly, safely and with the least effort and stress on reghters and the appliance. When selecting routes you should study the information on the map carefully.

strategies by identifying topographical features that will impact bushre behaviour;


F locate an incident; F select a suitable route to an incident;

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Factors that need to be considered when selecting a route include:


F the method of travel, for example, 4WD

Topographical maps
Topographical maps show natural and manmade features on the landscape including the following. Man-made features:
F roads; F structures, for example, farm houses,

tanker, 2WD tanker or on foot;


F the vehicle dimensions; F status of roads and tracks, for example,

sealed, single or multiple lane, loads on bridges, dead-ends, turning circles and height limits;
F vegetation types, for example, plantations,

churches, halls, and bridges;


F railway lines; F telephone and power lines; F dams; and F air strips.

thick close country or open paddocks;


F water features, for example, lakes, rivers,

dams and streams;


F threat from incident, for example, hazmat

vapour cloud movement and direction of the re;


F ground shape, for example, ridge lines,

Natural features:
F hills; F ridges; F forests; F rivers; F creeks; and F swamps.

slopes, cliffs and gorges; and


F other trafc, for example, normal

trafc congestion and expected trafc congestion caused by the incident.

Types of maps
There are many different types of maps available, each of which concentrate on specic types of information but can be used for a range of purposes. Available maps include:
F topographical maps; F local map books, for example, Spatial

A topographical map shows the earths natural, physical and man-made features in such a way that close study of the map can give you a detailed picture of the area represented. The ability to read a map (understand the way maps depict various features) is an important tool in re prevention and suppression.

Visions VICMAP Book and Shire Council;


F metropolitan street directories; F VicRoads Country Street Directory; and F specialist maps, for example, land use, re

history and geology.

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Extract of map courtesy of Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment. Crown Copyright . All rights reserved. www.land.vic.gov.au

Figure 155 example of a topographical map

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Local maps
These are maps that a CFA District, brigade, local council, DSE or Parks Victoria Ofce or police station may produce to suit their specic needs. For example, the book may contain street directory maps that only cover their area of interest.

Caring for maps


Maps are a valuable resource and care needs to be taken when using them. Most damage to maps occurs when they are opened while in a moving vehicle or in the open air. There are many ways you can fold a map to protect it from being damaged. The cover of most maps will have a diagram illustrating the best way to fold the map. Maps should not be taken for personal recreational use; they must always be returned to their proper storage location for future emergency use on return from an incident.

Metropolitan street directories


Metropolitan street directories show less topographical details than the maps discussed previously but are more suitable for navigating on road networks in urban areas.

VicRoads Country Street Directory


The VicRoads Country Street Directory displays more generalised information and has a good town index in the back of the book.

Marginal information
Information printed outside the map face is known as marginal information. It is important that you become familiar with this information as it assists users to establish the currency of the map, its scale and how to interpret the way features have been depicted on the map. The position of marginal information may vary from map to map and there may also be variations in the type of information included.

Spatial Visions VICMAP Books


The Spatial Vision VICMAP Map Books provide coverage of Victoria using ve separate map books. The books provide detailed topographical maps and town maps at a range of scales.

Common marginal information


The majority of maps have the following marginal information.
F Type of map whether its topographical

or cadastral.
F Map title the title of a map is usually

taken from the name of the largest town, the area or a key landmark.

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F Sheet number most maps are part of

F Magnetic variation the relationship

a series. Individual maps are uniquely numbered to specify which component of the series you have. The sheet number is a referencing system used to identify each individual map sheet in relation to the other maps in the series.
F Index to adjoining maps the name or

between true, grid and magnetic north: true north (TN) is the direction to the earths geographic North Pole; grid north (GN) relates to the lines on the map (usually vertical); and magnetic north (MN) is the direction to the earths magnetic pole (the direction the north point on the compass indicates it is constantly moving).
GN TN

sheet number, or both, of adjoining maps.


ST ARNAUD 7524 BEAUFORT 7523 SKIPTON 7522 DUNOLLY 7624 CRESWICK 7623 BALLARAT 7622 BENDIGO 7724 CASTLEMAINE 7723 BACCHUS MARSH 7722

MN

Figure 156 index to adjoining maps

Grid Convergence Grid/Magnetic angle

F Contour interval the difference in height

between one contour line and the next. Contour lines join points of equal height above or below sea level and therefore show the shape of the ground.
F Map scale the relationship between

Each map product will have local information on differences between true north, grid north and magnetic north.

distances on the map and distances on the ground. This relationship is constant in whatever direction the distances are measured.
F Grid numbers to help pinpoint a location

Figure 157 magnetic variation

F Edition number tells you how many

times the map has been printed and when it was last printed.
F Production details details of the agency

by the use of grid references.

or organisation that produced the map.


F Field revision each map is eld checked.

This provides you with information on when the map details were last checked (as opposed to the edition number which may just be a reprint).
F Photography the date the aerial

photographs, from which the map was plotted, were taken.

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F Legend or key an explanation of the

Map scale
As mentioned previously, a map is a representation of a given area of land at a given time. Because a map is smaller than the area it represents, all distances must be reduced by a common amount, for example, drawn to scale. The scale of a map determines how much information it can show the larger the area covered by a map, the less the degree of detail and accuracy.

symbols, colour coding and other information that has been used to depict objects and features that cannot be drawn to scale.

Built up area.................................................. Freeway, route marker, highway, bridge ....... Secondary road: sealed, unsealed................ Local road: sealed, unsealed........................ Vehicular track: 2WD, 4WD.......................... Walking track or bicycle track........................ Private access, proposed road....................... Great Dividing Trail......................................... Surf Coast Walk, Bicentennial National Trail. Australian Alps Walking Track....................... Road Restrictions.......................................... (MVO) (SSC) Management Vehicles Only MVO SSC Subject to Seasonal Closure (RU) SHWL Subject to Height or Weight Limits RPC Road Permanently Closed Road Unmaintained RU Levee bank.................................................. Embankment, cutting....................................
(SHWL) (RPC)

The scale of a map tells you by how much the area has been reduced in size. A map scale can be expressed in three ways:
F in words one centimetre represents one

FEATURES TRANSPORT

Railway, tramway.......................................... Railway station, railway siding....................... Railway/tramway: disused, dismantled.......... Railway bridge, railway tunnel.......................
School, police station, fire station, ambulance...... SES, Hospital, helipad ....................................... Lifesaving Club................................................... Pipeline, disappearing underground.....................
G

kilometre;
F as a linear scale or scale bars the easiest
S

VEGETATION

Power transmission line ....................................... Trigonometric station, landmark point................... Tree cover............................................................. Plantation.............................................................. Contours, hill shading............................................ Depression contours............................................ Cliff.......................................................................
River, creek...................... ............................ Aqueduct, channel, drain............................... Lake: perennial, intermittent........................... Dam or weir, dam carrying road......................

way to show ground distance on a map. However, care must be taken as the linear scale or scale bars can vary between different maps; or

83

SCALE 1:100,000
Kilometres 1 0.5 0 1 2 3 Kilometres 4 5

RELIEF

1 centimetre represents 1 kilometre


Figure 159 linear scale bar

HYDROGRAPHY

Lock.............................................................. Land subject to inundation............................. Swamp or marsh............................................ Shoreline with mud or sand flats..................... Exposed wreck, lighthouse............................ Navigation beacon,........................................ Parks under National Parks Act.....................

F in numbers written as a ratio (1:100,000)

or as a representative fraction (1/100,000).

ADMINISTRATION

Public land, restricted area............................. Local Government Area boundary.................. State boundary............................................... 1:100 000 single format index......................... 1:50 000 double format index.........................

MELTON SHIRE

GIBBO 8424-N

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As maps are available in various scales, it is important to consider the amount of detail required for the task at hand when choosing a map. The following are examples of the scale of available mapping:
F Topographical maps:

Bearing in mind the following: 10 mm = 1 cm 100 cm = 1 m 1,000 m = 1 km (therefore, 100,000 cm = 1 km) Using the previous example of a map distance of 1 cm on a 1:100,000 map: Ground distance = (1 x 100,000)/100,000 Ground distance = 1 km This formula works no matter what scale the map is. For example, if the measured distance on a 1:50,000 map was 4 cm then: Ground distance = (4 x 50,000)/100,000 Ground distance = 2 km

1:25,000; 1:50,000; and 1:100,000.


F VicRoads State Directory:

1:250,000.

What exactly does scale mean?


When we talk about something being drawn to scale, whether it is a map or a plan of a building, we mean it has been drawn to a ratio between true measurements and those on the map. For example, if you are using a map with a scale of 1:100,000, for every one unit of measurement on the map the corresponding distance on the ground is 100,000 units. Therefore, if it is 1 cm from point A to point B on the map it is 100,000 cm or 1 km on the ground. This is an accurate measurement of distance on the ground but it is not practical for our purposes to talk about distance in terms of centimetres. To make this gure useful, we need to convert it into metres or kilometres. We can do this by using a simple formula:
Ground distance
(in kms)

Map distance (in cms) x scale 100,000

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Using the map scale to determine distance on the ground


Judging the distance between points on a map and the corresponding distance on the ground is not easy. By using the map scale you can accurately calculate the distance on the ground between two points from the equivalent two points on a map. The more practice you have measuring distances on a map, the more condent you will feel working with maps.

Determining the distance along a curved road or route


To determine the distance between two points when there are bends or curves is a four step process.

Step 1
F Place a sheet of paper or string on the

map and mark off point A. (You can also use a ruler, just note down each measurement from bend to bend and add them up at the end.)

Determining a straight distance


To determine the distance between two points in a straight line is a simple two step process.

Step 2
F Mark off the rst bend, move the paper

Step 1
F Using a ruler, measure the distance

or string so that its edge follows the feature you are measuring, ensuring your previous mark is still lined up with the corresponding point on the map.

between points A and B. You can also use a piece of paper or string, just mark off the distance between the two points along the edge of the paper or on the piece of string.

Step 3
F Mark off the second bend and repeat Step

2 until you reach point B.

Step 2
F Place the ruler, paper or string along the

Step 4
F Place the ruler, paper or string along the

linear scale or scale bar and read off the distance between the two points in kms; or
F if you have a gure for the map distance,

linear scale or scale bar and read off the distance between the two points in kms; or
F if you have a gure for the map distance,

use the formula as explained previously.


A B

use the formula as explained previously.


5 7 6 4 3 2 1

8 8 7 6 5

4 3 2 1

Kilometres 1 2

Kilometres 10

Kilometres 1 2

Kilometres 10

Extract of map courtesy of Geoscience Australia. Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia) 2010.

Extract of map courtesy of Geoscience Australia. Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia) 2010.

Figure 160 measuring a straight distance

Figure 161 measuring a curved distance

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Grid lines and grid references


Superimposed on a map is a grid system of equally spaced vertical and horizontal lines intersecting at right angles to form squares. These lines are known as grid lines and the resulting squares are known as grid squares. The distance between adjacent lines is dependent upon the scale of the map. For example, the space between adjacent lines on a 1:100,000 topographical map is 1 cm. This means that the corresponding distance on the ground is 1 km. Australian topographic maps, including Spatial Vision VICMAP books use a coordinate grid system known as the Map Grid of Australia (MGA), based on the Geocentric Datum of Australia (GDA94). All topographic maps using the Map Grid of Australia (MGA) grid system, including spacial reference map books, display the GDA94 logo.

When taking and giving grid references it is important to note the relevant map book or map name and edition. Maps are normally printed so that north is approximately at the top of the sheet when the map is the correct way up. Therefore, the grid lines are printed so that one set of lines runs approximately northsouth and the other set of lines run approximately west east. The position of a point within a square is indicated by its distance east of a north south line (known as eastings) and north of a west east line (known as northings).

Figure 162 GDA94 logo

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Locating features on a map


Grid lines enable you to pinpoint a location on a map and communicate this information to others. Each grid line is numbered along the map border and, to assist people in using grid lines, every tenth line is thicker and is numbered at various places along its length.

Grid references
A grid reference is the point where eastings and northings cross on the map. To determine a grid reference for a specic location, you rst have to identify which grid square it is in. The grid square is referenced from the bottom left corner. For example, the road junction A on a 1:100,000 map in Figure 164 is in the grid square referenced by the easting 53 and the northing 61, expressed as grid 53 61 (a fourgure grid reference).

Eastings and northings


Locating the position of a feature on a map requires an understanding of eastings and northings.
F Eastings are the vertical grid lines running

north to south on the map (top to bottom). Their numbers increase towards the east.
F Northings are the horizontal grid lines
61 53

running from west to east on the map (left to right). Their numbers increase towards the north.

Extract of map courtesy of Geoscience Australia. Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia) 2010.

Figure 164 four-gure grid reference

19E 20 21 22

23 24 25

26

27

28 29 30

Eastings
14 13 12 11 10 9E

But, as the distance between grid lines is 1 km on the ground, we have only identied the junction as being within a square kilometre. This is not accurate enough for reghting operations.

Northings
Figure 163 eastings and northings

Note: when giving a grid reference eastings are always given before northings. An easy way to remember this is in the house and then up the stairs.

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Six-gure grid reference


For greater accuracy, a six-gure grid reference is required. To do this, we need to divide the grid lines encompassing the relevant grid square into 10 either mentally or by holding a ruler along the grid line. This divides the grid square into 100 smaller squares of 100 square metres on the ground (dependant on the map scale). We can now give a six-gure grid reference to road junction A. The numbering of the lines forming the small squares indicates the number of tenths of a unit that are east of easting 53 and north of northing 61. Junction A is in the small square 53.8 east and 61.4 north, in other words, easting 538 and northing 614. Consequently, the sixgure grid reference to road junction A is grid 538 614.

Ground shape and route selection


The shape of the landscape is particularly important in emergency response. Knowing the shape of the ground can help you:
F predict the likely perimeter (boundary and

shape) of a re;
F identify suitable locations for observing the

re or incident;
F identify a suitable location for establishing

a Control Point or an Operations Point;


F identify the best location(s) for

construction of a control line;


F determine routes for safe access to

an incident;
F determine possible sites for a helicopter to

land or collect water;


F determine where you are; and F determine a safe escape route from a re

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

or other emergency situation.

Determining the shape of the ground from a map


Contours are lines drawn on a map connecting points that are exactly the same elevation above, or below, sea level. The height, slope and shape of the ground surface can be determined by interpreting the contours.

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia) 2010.

Figure 165 six-gure grid reference

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Contours can indicate the position of physical features such as:


F a spur a minor feature, generally in the

form of a ridge, running out from a hill or mountain;


F a crest the highest part of a hill or

The difference in height between each contour is the same and is called the contour interval. The contour interval, expressed in metres on the majority of maps, can be found in the legend. The most important contour lines are called index contours. An index contour can be identied by the fact it is thicker than other contours and has its height noted at intervals along its length.

mountain range;
F a knoll (or knob) a low, isolated hill; F a saddle a depression between adjacent

hills or mountain tops that is higher than the surrounding gullies or valleys (generally located at the top of gullies running off the ridge line);
F a gorge a deep ravine (a valley with very

130

100

40

steep sides) which has been eroded over a period of time;


F undulating ground ground that rises and

Height (m) 160 130 100 70 40 10

falls gently;
F ridge lines the line across the top

Steep slope

70

Gentle slope

of a range of hills or mountains from which the ground slopes down in opposite directions;
F a plateau an elevated area of land that is

contour intervals

relatively at; and


F aspect the direction that the slope faces.
Crest Spur Knoll (knob) Saddle Gorge

It would be impractical to mark every contour, particularly on small scale maps. Therefore, the scale and the contour interval dictate which heights are noted. For example, on a 1:100,000 map with a contour interval of 10 m, every 50 m contour may be noted. The height is usually printed facing uphill which helps you to determine the direction of slope.

Undulating ground

Ridge line

Plateau

Figure 166 physical features

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You should also be aware that contour lines that are:


F close together mean that the altitude

changes rapidly and the slope is steep; and


F spaced wide apart, or where there are no

contour lines at all, indicate there is little or no change in altitude and the terrain is relatively at. Note: there may be localised but important features, such as a sharp gully, which may fall between contours but which may not show up on a map. This is especially the case if the contour interval is greater than 10 m.

Reporting a location
It is extremely important to be able to report locations in a clear and concise manner. Before reporting a grid reference over the radio or telephone say the pro-word grid, that is, Grid 123 456. To avoid confusion, determine the grid reference and write it down before sending the message. Do not determine the grid reference while transmitting the message. Unless it is very clear which map is being used, start the grid reference with the map name or number and the scale of the map, for example, Beaufort 7853-S 1:50,000 grid 795 496 or VICMAP South West Region Edition 2, Map 396, grid 470 684.

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Notes

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Chapter 10 Summary
F When responding to a call out, reghters F Maps are a at representation of the

will respond as per agency procedures.


F A safety check covering extinguishing

earths surface at a given point in time. They can be used to: locate natural and man-made features; plan re prevention and suppression activities; assign areas of responsibility; understand unfamiliar terrain; identify boundaries; locate an incident or escape route; and determine your position.
F The revision or production date on a map

media and equipment should be completed prior to leaving the station or work centre.
F Local knowledge of an area (terrain,

weather conditions, local conditions, etc.) can be invaluable when responding to a re.
F When selecting a route to the re keep the

following in mind: space needed to turn an appliance around; road and track access conditions; obstacles; narrow bridges or causeways with reduced load limits; safe refuges; and quick retreat or escape routes.

indicates how current the information is.


F Topographical maps show natural and

man-made features on the landscape.


F Metropolitan street directories show

road networks in urban areas with less topographical detail than topographical and cadastral maps.
F Marginal information provides you with key

points to assist you in interpreting a map.


F The scale of a map tells you by how much

the represented area has been reduced in size.


F All topographic maps drawn using the Map

Grid of Australia (MGA) system display the GDA94 logo.

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F Superimposed on maps is a system of grid

F Contours are lines drawn on a map

lines called eastings and northings.


F Grid lines running north to south are

known as eastings (vertical lines on a map).


F Grid lines running west to east are known

connecting points that are exactly the same elevation above or below sea level. Physical features represented on a map can be determined by interpreting the contours.
F A crest is the highest part of a hill or

as northings (horizontal lines on a map).


F A grid reference is used to refer to a

mountain range.
F A gorge is a deep ravine that has been

specic location by describing a point where an easting crosses a northing. It is always communicated with the eastings rst, northings second.
F Knowing the shape of the landscape can

eroded over a period of time.


F A knoll or knob is a low, isolated hill. F A plateau is an elevated area of land that is

relatively at.
F Undulating ground rises and falls gently. F A saddle is a depression between adjacent

help you in: predicting the likely perimeter of a re; identifying suitable locations for observing the re or incident; identifying suitable locations for a Control Point or an Operations Point; identifying the best location(s) for construction of a control line; determining routes for safe access to an incident; determining possible sites for a helicopter to land or collect water; determining where you are; and determining safe escape routes.

hills or mountain tops that is higher than the surrounding gullies or valleys.
F The direction that a slope faces is called

the aspect.
F A ridge line is the line across the top

of a range of hills or mountains from which the ground slopes downward in opposite directions.
F Contour lines close together mean that the

elevation changes rapidly and the slope is steep.


F Contour lines spaced wide apart, or where

there are no contour lines at all, indicate there is little or no change in elevation and the terrain is relatively at.

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Chapter 11 Proceeding to the Fire


When proceeding to the re you need to remain alert and observant. Your observations may assist in gaining access to the re with minimal damage to vehicles, equipment or the environment. On approach to the re and while at the scene you may notice evidence that relates to the cause of the re. This evidence should be brought to the attention of your Crew Leader. This chapter will cover: F initial observations; F conrm and report re location; and F evidence of re cause.

Initial Observations
You need to be alert and observant as you travel to the re, noting the following:
F the colour, quantity, number and direction

of the smoke column(s);


F the nature and behaviour of the re; F vehicle and personnel activity near the re; F if gates on access routes to the re are

Care also needs to be taken to avoid damage to vehicles and the environment. You should take into consideration the location of roads and tracks around the re and the locations of safety zones, and should have identied at least two escape routes. Wind direction is all important in your approach to the re. In the case of an active bushre, try to approach from upwind, avoiding a frontal approach. Remember too that res will travel more slowly down slopes as discussed previously. The colour of the smoke can indicate the location of the head of the re. The greater the intensity of the bushre the darker the colour of the smoke. On arrival your vehicle should be positioned in a safe area where re observations can be made and a quick exit can take place in the event of a rapid development in re intensity.

closed, locked, or open; and


F possible water points.

Remember that the direction of the smoke will be inuenced by prevailing winds. Consider the variation that local elevation and topography may have on wind direction.

On approach
The approach may be determined by the terrain. The safety of the crew is the prime concern.

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Conrm and Report Fire Location


Once the re has been physically located your CFA Incident Controller or DSE Operations Ofcer will conrm the re location, type and activity with the brigades base operator, VicFire, and/or the DSE Duty Ofcer, as appropriate. The message may be along the lines of Arrived at Dixons Creek re, re size approximately 5 ha and going in a south easterly direction (radio protocols used).

Preserving the point of origin


On arrival at a bushre it is important to preserve the point of origin. This is the area where the re started and may contain vital evidence needed for the cause to be investigated.

Evidence of Fire Cause


The cause of the re will be determined by experienced investigators, however, there are a number of things that you can do to assist investigators in their task.
Figure 168 investigating the point of origin

On approach
First responding crews should always be alert to any evidence of the cause of the re. Take note of the following:
F any people present in the area, or

Be conscious of the fact that the area that is burnt should not be disturbed any more than can be avoided. Crucial evidence of the cause of the re could be lost if not protected. To preserve the point of origin:
F do not disturb the area by driving over it or

departing the area as you approached;


F vehicles/bikes in the vicinity of the re, for

hosing away any evidence of the cause;


F if possible, keep reghting activity

example, type, colour, and registration;


F any obvious signs of human presence

and reghter access in the area to a minimum; and


F seal off access to the area using tape,

such as wheel tracks, litter or other material that may have been used to start the re; and
F in more remote areas, take note of horse

rope, a parked vehicle or a person to keep the area from being disturbed. In large scale res, investigators will be looking for patterns of res in the area. The point of origin should be protected for the entire duration of reghting operations, particularly in the case of small res.

tracks, motor bike tracks and camp res. You should pass on any relevant information or observations to your Crew Leader/Ofcerin-Charge.

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F Fireghters initial observations of the

re can assist the Crew Leader in quickly sizing up the situation on arrival. Look for: colour, quantity and direction of smoke; nature and behaviour of re; gates on access routes, for example, closed, locked or open.
F Once the re has been physically

located your CFA Incident Controller or DSE Operations Ofcer will conrm the re location, type and activity with the brigades base operator, VicFire, and/or the DSE Duty Ofcer, as appropriate.
F When assessing the re consideration

should be given to: the size of the re; re behaviour; risk to life and property; and resources.
F Fireghters should take note of the

people and vehicles in the vicinity while approaching a re.


F On arrival at a bushre it is important to

preserve the point of origin by keeping activity in the area to a minimum. Where possible avoid entering or disturbing the point of origin of the re.

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Notes

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Bushre suppression activities are not just the obvious such as attacking a re. They also include other activities such as setting up an incident command and communication structure, and managing logistics and the availability of resources. To ensure safe, effective and efcient bushre suppression, it is crucial that you understand your duties and follow the Incident Chain of Command on the reground at all times. This chapter will cover: F teamwork and reghting; F briengs; F command and communications; F assessing re conditions; F reghting strategies and tactics; F built asset protection; F mineral earth control line; and F mopping up.

Teamwork and Fireghting


Successful reghting relies on individuals working together as part of a team. As a member of a team, you must stay in contact with your colleagues at all times, either by sight or radio. You must make sure that:
F you understand your task and how it

F you stay in regular contact with your Crew

Leader; and
F you know the escape plans and, in the

event that you have to leave the area quickly, you can be contacted. Frequent communication is important. Make regular situation reports so that you can give and receive important information about the re and your safety. Each reghter should follow the instructions provided by their crew leader; to achieve the suppression objectives, safe operations, and teamwork.

ts in with the work of other reghters around you;


F the person in charge of you knows where

you are and what you are doing;


F you know where other reghters are and

what they are doing;

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Working as part of a crew


You should never work alone. Keep an eye on where the other members of your crew are when you are on the reground. Remember: safe work practices, look after your mates and work together (referred to in DSE as the buddy system). Good team work includes:
F working cooperatively to achieve

Briengs should be conducted using a process of delegation, with supervisors at every level of the incident management structure being responsible for brieng personnel under their control or direction. This process is designed to ensure people at all levels receive consistent and timely information. For example, after being briefed by the Incident Controller the Operations Ofcer is responsible for brieng Sector Commanders, who in turn become responsible for brieng Strike Team and Task Force Leaders under their command. Strike Team Leaders and Task Force Leaders are responsible for brieng Crew Leaders who in turn brief crew members.

common goals;
F following procedures; F asking for help when needed; F being supportive; and F recognising and acknowledging the

achievements of other team members. By demonstrating these simple behaviours on a day-to-day basis and in the way you go about your activities you will help to improve the performance and effectiveness of your crew.

Types of briengs
Types of briengs and debriengs may include:
F safety, for example, weather updates,

change in incident status and change in objectives;


F initial deployment; F subsequent deployment; F start of shift; F delegation; F handover; F end of shift; F changeover; F general information; and F After Action Review (AAR).

Briengs
In the interests of working safely, effectively and efciently, it is crucial that you are adequately briefed prior to commencing any task. This will ensure that you know and understand the incident situation and the task that you and your team, or crew, have been given to carry out.

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Brieng format
Supervisors at all levels of the incident management structure are to use the brieng format identied by the acronym SMEACS. This format is to be used for all types of briengs to ensure relevant details under the following headings are passed on.

Command and Communications


The safety and success of re suppression hinges on the command and communications systems that are set up to control the incident. For safe, effective and efcient re suppression, it is imperative that all reghters are not only aware of, and understand, the command structure and communication procedures in use, but that they also comply with them at all times.

Situation details of the incident, life


and property threatened, location, weather current and predicted and resource deployment.

Mission incident objectives, for control


and suppression.

Execution strategies, tactics and tasking


for sectors, strike teams and crews.

Incident management structure


You will operate within an incident control system called Australasian Inter-Agency Incident Management System (AIIMS). This system brings together and manages people, procedures, facilities, equipment and communications in a common organisational structure. This structure expands and contracts in accordance with requirements to manage the incident. This provides a clear path of delegation of responsibilities and helps to ensure that the health and safety of all personnel is better able to be monitored by the appropriate allocation of activities. AIIMS operates using the following principles; management by objectives; functional management and span of control. This ensures that there is only one Incident Controller.

Administration and logistics Incident


Control Centres, Operations Points and Staging Areas.

Command and communications incident


management structure, communications plan and radio channels.

Safety weather both current and predicted,


so as to be aware of any impending dangers to personnel from wind or weather changes, known or anticipated re or other hazards. All briengs are to end with a short question and answer session. This will allow those who have been briefed to check their understanding of any points and allow the person delivering the brieng to conrm that any critical issues have been clearly understood. Note: if you are unsure about any point ask again.

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Functional roles
AIIMS functional roles include the following:
F Incident Controller responsible for the

F Information Section responsible for

overall management of the incident.


F Planning Section responsible for

the collation of incident resources, current information and predictions of any future development of the incident, and preparation of the Incident Action Plan (IAP).
F Operations Section responsible

the provision of information about an incident to affected communities to promote appropriate responses and enable effective decision-making, thereby helping to reduce potential loss of life and property. While operating on the reground you report to and receive instructions and information from your Crew Leader. In CFA, if your crew is rst on scene the Crew Leader may be the Incident Controller and take responsibility for all AIIMS functions. In DSE, the crew leader will only take on the operations function, the other function remain with the Duty Ofcer.

for management and supervision of combating forces. This is the function within which a bushre reghter operates.
F Logistics Section responsible for the

provision of facilities, services, materials and nance.

Incident Controller
Safety Officer

Information Section

Planning Section

Operations Section

Logistics Section

Staging Area Manager

Division Commander

Air Operations

Sector Commander

Strike Team Leader

Task Force Leader

Crew Leader

Crew (Firefighters)

Figure 169 typical management structure for a large incident 204

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As an incident develops in complexity these roles will normally be delegated to other people with relevant competencies. Figure 169 opposite shows a typical management structure for a large incident and shows the reporting relationships within the incident chain of command.

F ensure that mobile phones and UHF

radios are only used for operational communication when specied in the communications plan.

Operations section
The operations section has its own special communication needs which are identied in the communications plan. Therefore, the plan must identify:
F who the personnel are that need to be able

Communications
Communications are vital to the successful outcome of bushre suppression or any other incident. A communications plan is developed to provide communications for the whole of the incident, as determined by its size and complexity. It is important to understand that the communications plan is determined (after taking into account known factors relating to current and predicted incident status), agreed to and approved by all members of the Incident Management Team (IMT) and approved by the Incident Controller. To improve communications we need to:
F recognise the role that a communications

to communicate with each other;


F the most suitable means of doing this; and F the equipment and radio channels

required to ensure uninterrupted communications for safe, effective and efcient operation throughout the entire period of the incident. Communications are used to ensure a two-way ow of information between the Operations Ofcer, Division Commander, Sector Commander, Strike Team Leader and Crew Leader. Figure 170 on the next page is an example of a typical Operations Section radio communications plan.

plan plays in safe, effective and efcient operational management;


F follow the communications plan, (default

in the initial stages of the incident and then the incident specic plan once it is established) and use only nominated equipment and channels;
F communicate up and down the chain

of command;
F follow established radio discipline and

procedures; and

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N W S E

Incident Control Centre (ICC) Incident Controller 62


Command Channel

Operations Point Operations Officer

62
Sector (Alphabetical/ geographical) Sector Commander

62
Sector (Alphabetical/ geographical) Sector Commander

Str i /Ta ke Te sk am Lea Forc de e r

m Tea ike orce F Str sk r /Ta eade L

ers

Cre

Cre

Fire Ground Channel

Fire Ground Channel

ead

wL

wL

ead

ers

63
West flank (may also be reference as the Right Flank)
Strike Team /Task Force Leader

64
East flank (may also be reference as the Left Flank)
Strike Team /Task Force Leader

Crew Leaders

Crew Leaders

Wildfire

Cre

der

wL ea

ea wL

St r i /Ta ke Te sk am Lea Force der

m Tea ike orce r t F S sk r /Ta eade L

der

Cre

62 63 64

Radio channels

Figure 170 example of an Operations Section radio communications plan

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Use of different radio channels


Allocation of radio channels is based on known and predicted incident factors. For example, at a small roadside re, all radio trafc may be handled using a single radio channel. The use of multiple radio channels may be needed as the incident increases in size or communications become more complex due to increased numbers of resources, larger area, and difculties with radio transmission in hilly or mountainous terrain. Radio channels will be allocated or reallocated (changed) to cope with the many different conditions and needs of the incident. Radio channels may be allocated to:
F the Operations Point; F the Staging Area(s); F Division or Sector Commanders; F Strike Team Leaders; and F Crew Leaders.

Assessing Fire Conditions


If you are the rst crew on scene, you will be involved in the initial size-up of the re. This is where all the characteristics of the re are noted and reported up the chain of command. You can assist the Crew Leader/Incident Controller in carrying out a size-up by passing on information about the re that you have identied through your observations. The Crew Leader/Ofcer-in-Charge will collate all the information provided by crew members with his or her own observations, and use this to make decisions about incident objectives and strategies. Factors to consider
the re

Questions that need to be answered


What is the size of the area already burnt? How intense is it? What direction is it travelling in? What is its rate of spread? What fuel conditions exist (dry, high loads)? Are lives in immediate danger? What property/assets are at risk? Are any environmentally sensitive areas endangered? Chances of rst attack success? What assistance or resources are needed? Where are water supplies located?

The ress behaviour

To ensure you are able to carry out your functional role within the big picture it is critical you remain on, or change to, the channel you have been allocated. It is important to acknowledge channel change movement within the chain of command. Continually monitor your radio and radio trafc to ensure that you are operating on the correct channel. You must be on your allocated channel to receive and transmit information, emergency or safety warnings as discussed in Chapter 9.

Risk to life and property/ assets

Suppression difculty

Resources

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Fireghting Strategies and Tactics


As explained earlier in this chapter, we work within an incident management structure (AIIMS), part of which outlines the need for management by objectives using strategies, tactics and tasks. To better understand this principle, we need to know and understand the meaning of each of the factors:
F objective a statement of what is to

F Task tankers to attack the res edge,

grader to follow up with a 6 m wide mineral earth control line extending the full perimeter of the re.

Methods of attack
The Incident Controller or DSE Operations Ofcer will ensure that a risk assessment is conducted in order to determine and approve an appropriate strategy. The strategy selected for use at a re whether in grassland, forest or at any other incident will depend on this risk assessment, taking into account the safety of reghters as a rst priority. The strategy will identify the method to be used to attack the re:
F direct attack; F parallel attack; or F indirect attack.

be achieved;
F strategy a statement of how the

objective is to be achieved. It is the method used such as direct attack, indirect attack, parallel attack or a combination;
F tactic the tasking of personnel and

resources to implement the incident control strategy; and


F task the job given to any reghting

force or unit, that is, who is to do the job. The difference between strategies, tactics and tasks can be quite confusing initially. The following example, putting them into context, should make things clearer. A low intensity grass re is heading east towards the Hume Highway:
F Objective stop the re crossing the

Direct attack (low ame intensity)


A direct attack is used mainly on low intensity bushres that can be easily and safely reached by reghters. Fireghters work from an anchor point directly on the edge of the re. This edge then becomes the established control line. In grass re situations, water is commonly used to knock down and extinguish the re edge working either from the head of the re (where conditions allow) or along the re anks. Fireghters may also use foam and re retardants to extinguish the re. A mineral earth control line may be constructed using heavy machinery such as a grader, following up along the blacked out edge to further strengthen the control line.

Hume Highway and blackout the edge before 1500 hrs.


F Strategy direct attack to extinguish

re and follow up with a mineral earth control line.


F Tactic task force consisting of tankers

and a grader are to attack the east ank, knock down the edge and construct a mineral earth control line.

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In scrub and forest re situations, dry reghting techniques are more commonly used. A mineral earth control line may be constructed using hand tools or heavy machinery such as bulldozers, working from an anchor point along the res perimeter. Care must be taken not to drag burning material across the control line into unburnt fuels and to work as close to the re edge as possible. Fuel between the control line and the re edge is allowed to burn out. Water, Class A foam or retardants may not effectively extinguish a forest re but may assist in supporting reghters who are establishing a mineral earth control line. To perform a direct attack you can use:
F water contained in knapsacks, tankers,

Anchor point is the blacked out fire edge

Knock down head Point of origin

Wind direction
Figure 171 head attack on a low intensity re

aircraft or in hose lines from a static water source, for example, a hose lay;
F bulldozers and other earth moving

This type of attack is used only for low intensity bushres and in moderate weather conditions where you can get close enough to attack the burning edge and can be sure that there will be no unexpected are ups or spotting activity. A ank attack involves approaching the re on the anks and working directly on them. One version of a ank attack is to work from the rear using the blacked out edge as an anchor point to work progressively towards the head of the re in an attempt to pinch it out (see gure 172).
Head

equipment; and
F hand tools such as rakehoes, slashers,

axes and chainsaws. The terms head attack and ank attack are used in bushre suppression to describe two variations of direct attack techniques for suppressing a bushre. You should be aware of how these two methods of attack differ. A head attack involves directly knocking down the head of the re and then working towards the point of origin (see gure 171). The anchor point is the blacked out re edge at the head of the re.

Point of origin Anchor point is the blacked out fire edge Wind direction

Figure 172 ank attack on a high intensity re

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This technique is used when it is impractical or unsafe to establish an anchor point at the head of a re front, for example, high intensity grass re. In either a head or ank attack, once the res edge has been knocked down, a mineral earth control line may be constructed around the blacked out edge. This is done to contain any remaining burning materials and to further strengthen the control line.

The distance from the re edge will depend on:


F the intensity of the re edge and spotting; F the type of fuel; F weather conditions; F topography; and F equipment used.

Advantages
F Provides maximum safety for reghters,

for example, the ability to move into the black if required;


F generally, the least area is burnt of all

methods;
F fuel is removed from the immediate path

In general, control lines are constructed as close as possible to the anks of the re. Irregularities in the res perimeter can be bypassed using this technique. You can use a range of equipment to construct control lines, for example, handtools, ploughs, graders, bulldozers and chain saws.

Burning out
Burning out means the deliberate burning of small patches of unburnt fuel within the re perimeter. It can also mean burning small patches of unburnt fuel between the re control line (constructed as part of a parallel attack) and the re. These remaining patches of fuel between the main re and the control line may be burnt out by other reghters under the close supervision of their crew leaders. This generally occurs from the point of origin using the blacked out edge as an anchor point as the work on the control line proceeds. Control line construction must stay ahead of any burning out activities but not so far as to be unable to retreat into the black if re conditions deteriorate. This is called taking the black with you and is a vital part of reghter safety. If this is not possible, you must patrol the control line to ensure that it is not crossed when the main re reaches it.

of the re, allowing the earliest possible control; and


F parts of the re edge that have self

extinguished may be quickly incorporated into the control line.

Disadvantages
F Fireghters working at the res edge can

be exposed to heat and smoke;


F fences and natural barriers may present

obstacles; and
F an irregular control line may be produced,

taking longer and being more difcult to patrol.

Parallel attack (low to moderate ame intensity)


The parallel method of attack commonly involves the construction of a control line parallel to the re, or just a short distance away from the res edge. You should be able to see the re edge to observe changes in re behaviour (see gure 173 opposite).

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When using the parallel attack method, you must:


F commence control line construction from

Disadvantages
F There will be an increased risk of the

re escaping;
F an increased risk to personnel; and F the total re area will be greater than that

an anchor point;
F monitor the progress of the re and note

any weather changes; and


F ensure you have two escape routes.

in a direct attack. Note: when using this technique, you must always remember that the re is constantly changing due to factors such as fuel and topography. The distance that you can work from the re edge is dependant on re intensity the further away you work from the re edge, the greater the personal risk if the re changes direction or intensity increases.

Advantages
F The control line may be shorter, straighter

and quicker to construct than in direct attack;


F crews will be less exposed to heat and

smoke; and
F the control line will be easier to patrol.

Wind direction

Figure 173 attacking parallel to the re edge where head re intensity or spotting ahead of the re prevents a direct attack

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Indirect attack (low to very high intensity and large and inaccessible bushres)
The indirect method requires the use of either a natural re barrier, the construction of a control line some distance from the res existing perimeter or a combination of both (see gure 174). The fuel between the control line and the main re is backburned when conditions are safe to do so. By backburning some distance from the bushres existing perimeter, the re is robbed of fuel. This technique is generally used when access is not available to the re edge, the re is too intense or is spotting, or for environmental reasons. The re is allowed to burn to predetermined control lines.

Backburning is potentially hazardous and needs experience, knowledge and skill to ensure a successful outcome. This activity is only to be carried out when identied as part of the overall control objective strategy in the Incident Action Plan and following authorisation by the Incident Controller. You will only carry out this task under direction and supervision.

Advantages
F Generally the only means to control res

with long distance spotting;


F controls more intense bushre; F reduces the exposure of reghters to

bushre hazards;
F allows more time for planning and

assembling resources appropriate to the incident;

Road

F allows the location of a control line to be

chosen with greater regard to crew safety and environmental considerations;


F allows more time for the construction of a

control line; and


F the control line may be shorter and

straighter than in a direct attack.

Disadvantages
F Requires considerable resources and

planning;

wind

F the total re area will be greater than that

in either of the previous methods;


F greater area to be controlled and patrolled,

River

Control line and backburn


Figure 174 indirect attack

therefore, an increased risk of the re breaking through the control lines and the need for additional resources;

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F the fuel between the re and the control

factories; and shops.


F Recreational assets, for example:

line may have to be backburned or burnt out the two res joining may result in intense re activity at the junction zone (where the res meet) and an increased chance of spotting; and
F the backburn may fail or escape, creating

walkways; cultural sites; picnic facilities; and parks.


F Machinery, for example:

the difculty of controlling the main re and the backburn.

Built Asset Protection


Protecting built assets is part of a defensive strategy used when a re is too intense to be safely or effectively attacked. Crews, under the direction of a Crew Leader, may be tasked to:
F eliminate or reduce the risk to built assets

tractors; cars; trucks; farming machinery; bulldozers; graders; and road making.
F Infrastructure, for example:

and other high value assets of being damaged by re;


F only protect what is within the capability

bridges; railway lines; roads, freeways; power stations, substations, power poles, and high voltage transmission lines; water reservoirs, pumping stations, and pipelines; gas plants and pipelines; oil reneries and/or depots; telecommunications; and re lookout towers.

and training of the crew at the time and only after appropriate risk mitigation;
F take actions to prevent an asset catching

re; and
F suppress any supercial res on the

external parts of structures. Examples of built assets include, but are not limited to, the following.
F Structures, for example:

houses; sheds; public buildings; schools;

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Protecting assets
The Crew Leader will conduct a risk assessment to identify whether the crew is trained and equipped to deal with situations they may encounter in protecting any asset. If protecting a structure the following considerations and/or actions will apply and will be carried out when the re is in its initial stage and easily suppressed from outside the structure.
F Extinguishing embers on, around, or under

You must ensure you understand your instructions. Implement your personal risk mitigation, for example WATCHOUTS and LACES as discussed in Chapter 1. Often all that can be done to protect assets is to position the appliance, set up hose lays and remove combustible material from around the asset to minimise ignition sources. Well before the re arrives, defensive actions should be taken. These will include:
F protecting yourself; F ensuring you have a safety zone; F identifying hazards; F creating a defendable space; F removing fuel where required; and F wetting down areas.

a structure; or
F initial small outbreaks of re involving the

structure on: exterior walls; decks; roofs; and gutters. Bushre reghters will not enter a structure:
F to engage in internal reghting; or F where there is a risk of structural collapse.

Positioning the appliance


When positioning the appliance;
F reverse in to ensure it is ready to leave the

Asset preparation pre-re


Preparaton
Your Crew Leader will manage the pre-re asset preparation strategy in conjunction with the Operations Ofcer. It is important that you maintain communications when you are implementing asset protection. Once the asset is identied and a sizeup and risk assessment are completed, a protection strategy will be implemented and your crew will be tasked accordingly.

area if necessary;
F ensure it does not block access or escape

routes for other appliances;


F site the appliance so that it:

is protected from radiant heat; has access to water where applicable; needs minimal hose to attack res; and has a lookout, usually the pump operator who stays with the appliance;
F do not park near heavy fuel loads;

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F look for green lawns, gravel surfaces or

Ember spotting
Assets can be under attack from embers and spotting well before the re reaches the structure and many hours after it has passed. An ongoing process needs to be in place to check for, and extinguishing, embers.

cleared areas to park;


F keep doors and windows closed; F leave the engine running with the lights

and ashers on; and


F check the operation of the pump motor.

Hose lays
Run hose lines to strategic locations; 38 mm hose lines are recommended.
F Deploy two lines. F Leave the hose lines in obvious locations,

Hazards
It is important to identify and report any potential hazards to your Crew Leader.

Safety zone
Ensure you know where the safety zones are and you can access these if you need to.

and protect the couplings.


F Working lines can be pre-positioned, one

around each side of the asset.


F Hose lines should be long enough to meet

Defendable space
The Crew Leader will determine, as a result of a risk assessment and size-up, the safest course of action based on the fuel, weather and topography around the asset. The anticipated re behaviour will determine how much area will be required to ensure crew safety. This is called the defendable space. Other considerations will include communications, water supplies and access. An option may be to carry out preparation works around the asset. then leave before the re approaches.

behind the asset.


F Working lines should be left in place until

the asset is safe.

Sprinkler systems
Sprinklers may be used to wet down the asset and/or surrounding vegetation. These can be set up prior to the re and activated when it is required. Some owners may have installed a sprinkler system as part of their Bushre Action Plan.

Communication
Keep in continuous communication on both preparedness and the re situation with your Crew Leader, other crew members, and the occupier of the asset if it is possible to do so.

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Potential ignition points on an asset


Likely ignition points on an asset include:
F the roof; F the building material used; F open vents; F open or broken windows; F doorways; F verandahs and eaves; F under house spaces; F on and under decks; F ammable materials; and F garden mulch and shrubs.

Hazards
Fuels and chemicals
The Australian hazardous labelling system has nine classes of dangerous goods with subsections according to the type of hazard applicable. Multiple signs may sometimes be visible when multiple types of chemicals are stored. Your strategy would be to identify the risk, and report it to your Crew Leader who will plan to isolate and protect the hazardous items from re. If in doubt get out. If you notice a different colour smoke coming from a shed, there is a fair chance it could be hazardous chemicals burning. The best approach is to evacuate and report it to your Crew Leader. Ensure the crew stand upwind and uphill from burning hazardous materials. Some hazards crews may encounter during asset protection are ammable liquids, gas, electricity and chemicals. You need to be alert for these signs and consult your Crew Leader for direction.

A walk around the asset should identify all items that may increase the chance of the asset being impacted by the approaching re. These may include:
F door mats; F garden furniture; F rewood supply; F shade cloth; and F dogs kennels.

Time permitting, these items should all be removed.

Gas and electricity


Identify the location and size of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders and tanks and advise your Crew Leader. Clear the area around the liquid petroleum gas and tanks. Where possible, small cylinders may be moved to a fuel reduced area. Clear around electricity poles. Predetermine line and pole falling areas. Keep clear of these areas and mark it if necessary.

Figure 175 hazardous materials warning signs

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During the passage of the re front


Ensure the following actions are taken during the passage of the re front.
F Minimise your exposure to radiant heat

F airborne contaminates, for example,

asbestos may be present; it is therefore advisable to report this and leave the area;
F debris on the roads may include rocks,

logs, burning vehicles, and fallen powerlines;


F spot res; F smoky conditions; and F weakened bridges or cattle grids.

and smoke.
F Mobility it is important not to be hooked

up to hose lines that prevent you from moving while the re is passing. Avoid using long live hose reels.
F Ensure sprinkler systems have been

After the re front has passed, undertake the following actions.


F Avoid exposure to toxic smoldering

activated (where installed).


F Extinguish supercial spot res on

materials;
F assist in extinguishing burning vegetation

the asset.

Asset protection post re


Safety
Extreme danger is still present after the re passes. Your Crew Leader will conduct postre size-up for safety. Watch for hazards which may include:
F downed power lines/poles, damaged solar

within close proximity to the asset;


F ensure the asset is safe before moving on

to others;
F remain vigilant and assess new

safety hazards; and


F refer residents requests and questions to

panels and wind generators;


F hazardous trees;

your Crew Leader to undertake positive public relations to leave the public with positive feelings.

Farm sheds

Livestock

Domestic dwellings

Community assets

Figure 176 protecting assets enables a community to recover more quickly from the effects of a bushre

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Mineral Earth Control Line


A control line is an important part of re suppression activities and will be constructed around most DSE res. One form of control line is a man-made or natural fuel-free path. It prevents the spread of re. When constructing control lines, the term mineral earth (or bare earth) is sometimes used. This term refers to ground where all vegetation cover has been removed and only rocks and soil are exposed.

Mopping Up/Blacking Out Operations


Mopping up, (sometime referred to as blacking out) is a vital part of the re suppression process. It is a dirty and time consuming task which may continue for many days after the re has been controlled. Mopping up:
F may begin as soon as the progress and

spread of the re has been contained; and


F should be carried out on foot to allow

close inspection of potential hot spots. Note: mopping up carried out on foot allows close inspection of potential hot spots. The process of mopping up entails blacking out a strip inside the re perimeter. Thorough mopping up involves locating, breaking open or exposing and extinguishing any smouldering fuel above the ground, at ground level and below ground. This eliminates potential sources of re-ignition and escape.

Figure 177 mineral earth control line

The mineral earth should be exposed for the length and width of the control line. A control line can be constructed by using:
F hand tools, for example, axes, slashers,

rakehoes and chainsaws, to remove unburnt surface fuels from the re; and
F machinery, such as bulldozers, graders,

bobcats and farm tractors tted with a plough or a blade.

Figure 178 reghters extinguishing smouldering fuel at ground level

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The work is done manually with hand tools, by wetting fuels or both. In a grass re situation, wetting the fuel may be enough. Note: blackout and patrol is a critical part of the re suppression process. Many res, considered contained, have rekindled or started fresh outbreaks due to poor or insufcient patrol or mopping up being undertaken. Fireghters must continue to be alert and aware of hazards during these operations. Initially reghters should concentrate on making the re perimeter safe by:
F extinguishing any elevated burning/

When the edge is controlled, any patches of unburnt fuel can be burnt out or contained within the control line. A strip inside the perimeter must then be blacked out to extinguish all burning or smouldering material. The width of this strip will vary. Your Crew Leader will tell you how far inside the control line this work should be undertaken. As with other reghting activities, when mopping up, consider your hose line as your lifeline. Remember: whether moving up or adding an additional hose length to prevent hose damage, be sure to wet down ahead of your hose to create a cool damp area free of hot embers and threat from naked ame.

smouldering fuels;
F extinguishing smouldering/burning

materials laying on the ground;


F placing any smouldering fuel found

Factors to consider when mopping up


Factors to consider when mopping up include:
F depth; F weather conditions; F fuel type; and F safety.

outside the control line into the burnt out area;


F breaking up fuel concentrations to release

heat; and
F turning smouldering logs into a position

where they will not roll into unburnt areas.

Depth of mopping up
Commencing at the edge and mop up for 20 30 m into the burnt ground is most common practice. The depth of blacking out will, however, depend on a number of factors, including:
F the size of the bushre it may be

Figure 179 making the perimeter safe

possible to mop-up the entire area of small or spot res; in large res the depth of mopping up will depend on fuel, weather and topography;

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F nature of the fuels heavy, smouldering

fuels like stumps and logs, or tall burning hollow trees showering sparks across the control line from inside the mopped up perimeter increase the risk of reignition, therefore, depth of mopping up needs to take account of this; and
F terrain or topography control lines on

when mopping up stumps, rstly cool down the stump and surrounding area. You may need to use a shovel to access hot root holes or an axe to open the stump up.
F Trees:

slopes with burnt ground above unburnt ground pose a risk of smouldering material tumbling down hill into unburnt fuel across the control line; mopping up must be extended further up slope to reduce this risk.

be sure to black out all smouldering bark and elevated fuels to prevent it spotting into unburnt fuel; burning stag trees near the re edge should be extinguished to stop showering sparks and embers igniting adjacent unburnt fuels. If this cannot be carried out safely, refer to Chapter 1: Hazardous Trees. Note: the use of chainsaws to assist reghting operations must only be carried out by trained, competent and endorsed people.
F When mopping up in grassland or bush,

Weather conditions
The likelihood of severe weather approaching may make a greater depth or area of mopping up and additional patrols necessary, particularly on the eastern ank, as a wind change from the west to southwest would blow towards this direction carrying embers onto unburnt fuel.

Different fuels
F Logs and stumps:

take care not to spread burning embers back into the unburnt area.
F Dry animal manure needs to be broken

apart and thoroughly wet down.


F Be sure to black out fence posts, as they

you may have to roll a log over to extinguish the underside. To avoid it rolling down hill or into an unburnt area, use a rock or earth mound as a chock or dig a trench to roll the log into; you may have to split a log open or have an experienced chainsaw operator remove the burning end to allow you to extinguish any burning material inside. If you have insufcient water, use your rakehoe to create a suitable bare earth break around it; and

are a valuable asset.

Safety
F Falling trees and limbs can kill. These

can continue to fall for many days after the main re has passed. Look up and maintain a close watch while working under canopies. Report any dangers to your Crew Leader, refer to Chapter 1, Hazardous trees.

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F inside the control line burning materials

or hot spots which may include ground, surface or elevated fuels such as trees or branches that may be burning or smouldering; and
F outside the control line fresh

outbreaks caused by new or previous spotting activity. Problems encountered should be dealt with immediately and may involve the use of:
F hand tools and Class A foam and/or water

Figure 180 take care while working under canopies

F You need to exercise extreme care when

applying water to hot beds of burning fuel, as instantaneous production of steam may cause a violent reaction, throwing dust, smoke and steam back into your face.
F Watch out for rolling logs and material

to extinguish stumps, trees or fence posts to avoid breakaways; and


F heavy machinery and chainsaw operators.

The frequency of patrols will be determined by factors such as:


F fuel hazards; F re intensity; and F current and forecast weather conditions.

burning underground in stump holes.


F Stay at least two tree heights clear and up

slope of any burning stag trees.


F Watch out for insects, reptiles and vermin

that may have been disturbed as a result of the re.


F Be aware of hot ash beds.

Patrolling the perimeter may be done on foot, or in a vehicle. Fireghters should always follow safe work practices and buddy up if on foot. If patrolling from a vehicle be aware of the dangers of travelling in smoke, and watch out for reghters on foot working in the area. All reghters involved in patrol should take note of safety zones and places where a vehicle can be turned around, and should have identied at least two escape routes in the event that they are required to leave the area quickly.

Patrolling the perimeter


Patrolling the perimeter commences once the control line is established and may continue during and after the mopping up process. It ensures that any problems on or near the res perimeter do not lead to the rekindling or spread of the re. Fireghters patrolling the perimeter should look for anything that could threaten the control line including:

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Notes

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Chapter 12 Summary
F Successful reghting requires solid F A SMEACS brieng includes:

teamwork.
F You must make sure that:

Situation; Mission; Execution; Administration and logistics; Command and communications; and Safety.
F All briengs are to end with a short

you know your task; your Crew Leader knows where you are and what you are doing; you know where the other members of your crew are and what they are doing; you stay in contact; and you know your escape plan.
F Good team work behaviours include:

question and answer session to ensure understanding by all parties.


F The command and communications

working cooperatively; following procedures; knowing when to seek assistance and asking for help when it is needed; being supportive; and recognising and acknowledging the efforts of your crew mates.
F When reghting, always stay in contact

systems are crucial to the safety and success of re suppression activities.


F You will work within an incident control

system (AIIMS).
F AIIMS functional roles include Incident

Controller, Information Section, Planning Section, Operations Section and Logistics Section.
F Continually monitor your radio and radio

with other people either by sight or radio.


F All briengs conducted should conform to

trafc to ensure that you are operating on the correct channel.


F You must be on your allocated channel

the SMEACS format.

to receive and transmit information, emergency or safety warnings.

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F When assessing the re consideration

F If protecting a structure the following

should be given to: the size of the re; re behaviour; risk to life and property; and resources.
F Direct attack is when reghters work

considerations and/or actions will apply and will be carried out when the re is in its initial stage and easily suppressed from outside the structure. Extinguishing embers on, around, or under a structure; or initial small outbreaks of re involving the structure on exterior walls, decks, roofs and gutters.
F Bushre reghters will not enter a

directly on the edge of the bushre and this edge then becomes the established control line.
F A parallel attack involves the construction

of a control line parallel to the re, or just a short distance away from the res edge.
F Different forms of direct attack include

structure to engage in internal reghting or where there is a risk of structural collapse.


F The defendable space is the area required

directly knocking down the head of the bushre or a ank attack that involves approaching the bushre from the anks and then pinching out the head.
F Indirect attack commonly involves the

to ensure crew safety. It is determined by the Crew Leader as a result of a risk assessment and size-up. Other considerations include communications, water supplies and access.
F Hazards relating to built asset protection

construction of a control line some distance away from the res edge. The fuel between the control line and the re front is backburned.
F For high intensity res the construction

include: fuels and chemicals; and gas and electricity.


F Ensure the following actions are taken

of a control line may be a considerable distance from the re ank or head and require a backburn when conditions are suitable. This type of operation should only be performed by endorsed personnel when authorised by the Incident Controller.
F Protecting built assets is part of a

during the passage of the re front. Minimise your exposure to radiant heat and smoke; mobility it is important not to be hooked up to hose lines that prevent you from moving while the re is passing; ensure sprinkler systems have been activated (where installed); and extinguish supercial spot res on the asset.

defensive strategy used when a re is too intense to be safely or effectively attacked.

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F Extreme danger is still present after the

re passes. Your Crew Leader will conduct post-re size-up for safety. Watch for hazards which may include: downed power lines/poles; dangerous trees; airborne contaminates, for example, asbestos may be present; it is therefore advisable to report this and leave the area; debris on the roads may include rocks, logs, burning vehicles, and fallen powerlines; spot res; smoky conditions; weakened bridges or cattle grids.
F Mineral earth control lines should expose

mineral earth for the length and width of the control line.
F Mopping up is the process of ensuring a

contained re does not reignite or spread.


F The depth of mopping up will depend on

factors such as the size of the bushre, type of fuel involved and local topography.
F Different fuels need different treatment

when mopping up.


F Safety is paramount do not relax your

guard.
F Fireghters patrolling the perimeter should

look for anything that could threaten the control line.


F Fireghters involved in patrolling the

perimeter must be aware of safety zones and escape routes.

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Glossary
Adaptor
A tting used to couple different sized hoses, hose of the same size with different threads, or different types of couplings, or to connect the male to male, or female to female parts of the same type of coupling.

Backburning
A re ignited along the inner edge of a control line to consume the fuel in the path of a bushre.

Backing re
The part of a re which is burning back against the wind, where the ame height and rate of spread is minimal.

Adsorption (as it relates to fuel)


The taking up of moisture during the cool, still, humid conditions of night.

Blacking out
See mopping up.

Air attack
The direct use of aircraft in the suppression of bushre.

Branch
A device tted to the end of a hose line to allow the water or other extinguishing medium travelling through the hose to form an effective reghting spray or jet.

Allocated resources
Resources working at an incident.

AMG
Australian Map Grid.

Breakaway
The points at which a re, after it has been contained, escapes into unburnt areas across a reline or re edge.

Anchor point
An advantageous location from which a reline can be constructed. It is used to minimise the possibility of being outanked by a re while the line is being constructed.

Breathing apparatus (BA)


A device that provides the wearer with breathable air that is independent of the surrounding atmosphere. Allows the wearer to operate in atmospheres that would otherwise be toxic such as smoke.

Appliance
A reghting vehicle, usually equipped with a pump and water supply.

Brigade
A unit of CFA personnel including Ofcers, crews and sub-brigades.

Assets
Anything valued by people which includes houses, crops, forests and, in many cases, the environment.

Burning out
The deliberate burning of small patches of unburnt fuel within the re perimeter. It can also mean burning small patches of unburnt fuel between the re control line (constructed as part of a parallel attack) and the re.

Back (heel or rear)


The section of the perimeter opposite to and usually upwind or down slope from the head of the re.

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Glossary

Bush
A general term for forest or woodland, but normally used to describe indigenous forest.

Competency
Applying skills and knowledge in the workplace to agreed standards.

Bushre
An unplanned re. A generic term which includes grass res, forest res and scrub res.

Conscious
Awake, alert to what is happening.

Contained
A re is contained when its spread has been halted, but it may still be burning freely within the perimeter or the control lines.

Candle bark
Long streamers of bark that have peeled from some eucalypt species that form re brands conducive to very long distance spotting.

Containment
Operations designed to restrict re and stop it spreading to surrounding structures or areas.

Canopy cover/canopy density


The foliage cover from the crowns of the trees in a forest. It is usually expressed as a percentage of the area of ground covered.

Control line (re line)


A natural or constructed barrier, or treated re edge, used in re suppression and prescribed burning to limit the spread of re.

Centrifugal pump
A pump using centrifugal force to increase the pressure of liquid. Centrifugal force causes the liquid to move along the vanes of an impeller thus acquiring kinetic energy. This is transformed into energy at the pump casing.

Controlled
The time at which the complete perimeter of the re is secured and no breakaway is expected.

Convection column
The rising column of smoke, ash, burning embers and other matter generated by a re.

Chemical chain reaction


This is the fourth dimension of the re tetrahedron. In the combustion process, a chemical chain reaction occurs between the fuel and oxygen and is promoted by heat.

Crew
The basic unit of a bushre suppression force. It normally consists of two or more personnel.

Circulation
The transport of oxygenated blood through the arteries, and the return of oxygen-depleted blood through the veins to the heart, where the cycle is renewed.

Crown re
A re which burns in the tree tops ahead of and above an intense re in the undergrowth. A fasttravelling re that is most destructive and usually consuming all available fuel in its path.

Class A foam
A reghting medium produced by adding Class A concentrate to water and passing it through a foam or spray nozzle.

Dehydration
Excessive loss of water from the bodys tissues. Dehydration may follow any condition in which there is a rapid depletion of body uids.

Combustion
A chemical reaction between the vapours of a combustible material and oxygen. It releases heat, light and/or ames.

Delivery hose
Hose made of fabric in various diameters and used to transport water under pressure. Delivery hose may not be internally or externally lined with rubber or plastic.

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Glossary

Delivery valve
On a pump, the valved outlet through which water is discharged.

Elevated dead fuel


Dead fuel forming part of, or being suspended in, the shrub layer.

Desorption
The loss of moisture to the atmosphere from dead plant material.

Energy
Source of power which may be released in forms such as heat, light and movement.

Direct attack
A method of bushre attack where wet or dry reghting techniques are used. It involves suppression action right on the re edge which becomes the control line.

Escape route
A pre-planned route away from danger areas at a re.

Evaporation
To change or cause to change from a liquid or solid state to a vapour.

Distribution lines
Overhead conductors supported by wooden or concrete poles and some steel towers that may operate at high voltage (1000 volts to 66,000 volts), including SWER lines (12,700 volts) and low voltage (240 volts to 415 volts).

Fine fuel
Grass, leaves, bark and twigs less than 6 mm in diameter.

Fingers
Narrow slivers of the advancing bushre which extend beyond the head or anks.

Division
A portion of the re perimeter comprising of two or more sectors. The number of sectors grouped in a Division should be such as to ensure effective direction and control of operations. Divisions are generally identied by a local geographic name.

Fire behaviour
The manner in which a re reacts to the variables of fuel, weather and topography.

Dozer
A crawler tractor tted with a blade which can be transported to a re on a tray truck or trailer.

Fire brand
A piece of burning material, commonly bark from eucalypts.

Drip torch
A canister of ammable fuel tted with a wand, a burner head and a fuel ow control device. It is used for lighting res for prescribed burning and backburning.

Fire perimeter
The entire outer boundary of a re area.

Fire retardant
A chemical generally mixed with water, designed to retard combustion. It is applied as a slurry from the ground or the air.

Dry reghting
The suppression of a re without the use of water. This is normally achieved by removing the fuel by the use of hand tools or machinery.

Fire spread
Development and travel of re across surfaces.

Eastings
These are lines running northsouth (top to bottom) on a map.

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Glossary

Fire tetrahedron
An instructional aid in which the sides of the tetrahedron (comprising four triangular shaped gures) are used to represent the four components of the combustion and ame production process fuel, heat, oxygen and the chemical chain reaction.

Flank attack
Obtaining control of a re by attacking its side (anks).

Flanks of a re
Those parts of a res perimeter that are roughly parallel to the main direction of spread.

Fire triangle
A gure illustrating the three components necessary for a re to burn and continue to burn oxygen, heat and fuel.

Foam Class A
A reghting medium produced by adding Class A concentrate to water and passing it through a foam or spray nozzle.

Fire whirl
A spinning column of ascending hot air and gases rising from a re and carrying aloft smoke, debris and ame. Fire whirls range in size from less than a metre in diameter to small tornados in intensity.

Forest re
A re burning mainly in forest and/or woodland.

Friction loss
Loss of water pressure during the passage of uid through a pipe or hose. Loss due to friction depends on factors such as the length of the hose or pipe, its diameter, the rate of ow and the restrictions, such as corrosion in a pipe or the number of bends in a hose.

Firebombing
A technique of suppressing a bushre by dropping water, foam or retardants on it from an aircraft.

Fireghting vehicle
Any vehicle used by re agencies to ght res, regardless of its intended purpose.

Fuel
Any material such as grass, leaf litter and live vegetation which can be ignited and sustains re. Fuels can be categorised as ne or heavy.

Fireline
A natural or constructed barrier, or treated re edge, used in re suppression and prescribed burning to limit the spread of re.

Fuel moisture content


The water content of a fuel particle expressed as a percent of the oven dry weight of the fuel particle (%ODW).

Fixed wing aircraft


An aircraft which obtains lift for ight by the forward motion of wings through the air, for example, an aeroplane.

Fuel type
An identiable association of fuel elements of distinctive species, form, size, arrangement or other characteristics that will cause predictable rate of spread or difculty of control under specied weather conditions.

Flame height
The vertical distance between the tip of the ame and ground level, excluding higher ame ashes.

Going re
Any re expanding in a certain direction or directions.

Flammable
Capable of burning with a ame

Flammable vapours
The vapours given off by solids and liquids that combine with oxygen and burn if ignited.

Grass re
A re in predominantly grass vegetation.

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Glossary

Grid north
The direction along the northsouth grid lines on a map.

Hose lay
The practice of running out reghting hose to enable re suppression by the application of water. May be conducted from a reghting vehicle using hose bins and/or hose reels, or the act of bowling out a length of hose that is rolled up (hose on the bight).

Ground re
A re burning in thick layers of humus and vegetation, found in forest or swampy ground or peat.

Hand crew
A re suppression crew, trained and equipped to ght re with hand tools.

Hot spots
Areas of burnt ground that are still hot and could re-ignite.

Head of the re
The part of the re where the rate of spread, ame height and intensity are greatest, usually when burning downwind or up slope.

Ignition
The process of starting combustion.

Incident Action Plan


A statement of objectives and strategies to be taken to control or suppress an incident, and approved by the Incident Controller.

Heat cramps
Common muscular cramps that may occur in the heat, especially when an unt person has worked hard and perspired a lot.

Incident Controller
The individual responsible for the management of all incident operations.

Heat exhaustion
A form of shock, due to depletion of body uids resulting from over exposure to a hot environment.

Indirect attack
A re control strategy where the re is intended to be brought under control a considerable distance away from its current position, but within a dened area, bounded by existing or planned re control lines. A common method of achieving this is by backburning.

Heat stress
Illness caused by the body overheating.

Heat stroke
A life-threatening condition that develops when the bodys temperature-regulating and cooling mechanisms are overwhelmed and body systems begin to fail.

Initial attack
The rst suppression work on a re.

Heavy fuels
Dead woody material, greater than 6 mm in diameter, in contact with the soil surface (fallen trees and branches).

Junction zone
An area of greatly increased re intensity caused by two re fronts (or anks) burning towards one another.

Heel (back or rear)


The section of the perimeter opposite to and usually upwind or down slope from the head of the re.

Kilopascal
Unit of measurement of pressure.

Kinetic
A form of energy resulting from motion.

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Glossary

Knock down
The rapid application and concentration of water or foam, intended to reduce re intensity prior to manual follow-up action.

Northings
These are lines of a map running westeast (left to right) on a map.

Nozzle
A tting at the end of a hose line used to control the volume of water and/or pattern of the discharge of water or extinguishing medium.

Ladder fuels
Fuels that provide vertical continuity between strata. Fire is able to carry surface fuels into the crowns of trees with relative ease.

Objective
A goal statement of what is to be achieved.

Liqueed Petroleum Gas (LPG)


A gas stored under pressure as a liquid, commonly used to fuel cars and around household appliances such as heaters and ovens.

Operations Ofcer
The Ofcer responsible for directing and supervising all work on the reground under the direction of the Incident Controller.

Litter
The top layer of the forest oor composed of loose debris of dead sticks, branches, twigs, and recently fallen leaves and needles, little altered in structure by decomposition. (The litter layer of the forest oor.)

Oxygen
Colourless, odourless gas, making up about one fth of the air volume of the atmosphere. It is the supporter of combustion in the air.

Magnetic north
The direction to the magnetic north i.e. the direction a compass points to. It moves around the true North Pole.

Parallel attack
A method of suppression in which a reline is constructed approximately parallel to and just far enough from the re edge to enable reghters and equipment to work effectively. The line may be shortened by cutting across unburnt ngers. The intervening strip of unburnt fuel is normally burnt out as the control line proceeds, but may be allowed to burn out unassisted where this occurs without undue delay or threat to the line.

Map scale
The relationship between a unit of measurement on a map and the equivalent distance on the ground. The scale of a map can be expressed in words (e.g. one centimetre equals one kilometre), graphically by the use of a linear scale or scale bar, and in numbers written as a ratio (e.g. 1:100,000) or as a representative fraction (e.g. 1/100,000).

Megapascal
Unit of pressure (1 megapascal = 1000 kilopascals).

Patrol
(a) To travel over a given route to prevent, detect and suppress a re. (b) To go back and forth vigilantly over the length of a control line during and/or after construction, to prevent breakaways, to control spot res and extinguish overlooked hot spots. (c) A person or group of persons who carry out patrol activities.

Mineral earth
A term used to describe the ideal condition of a constructed rebreak, being completely free of any vegetation or other combustible material.

Mopping up (blacking out)


Making a re safe after it has been controlled, by extinguishing or removing burning material along or near the reline, felling stags, trenching logs to prevent rolling, and the like.

Perimeter
The entire outer boundary of a re area.

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Glossary

Point of origin
The area where the re started.

Rotary wing aircraft


Aircraft which obtain lift for ight by the rotation of rotors through the air i.e. helicopters.

Priming the pump


Removing air from a main pump casing and suction hose line so that atmospheric pressure can force water from a static water supply up the hose into the pump.

Safe
The stage of re suppression or prescribed burning when it is considered that no further suppression action or patrols are necessary.

Rakehoe (McLeod tool)


A hand tool used for bushre reghting, consisting of a combination of a heavy rake and hoe.

Safety zone
An area cleared of ammable materials used for escape if the line is outanked or in case a spot re outside the control line renders the line unsafe. In re operations, crews progress so as to maintain a safety zone close at hand, allowing the fuels inside the control line to be consumed before going ahead. Safety zones may also be constructed as integral parts of fuelbreaks. They are greatly enlarged areas which can be used with relative safety by re ghters and their equipment in the event of a blow up in the vicinity.

Rate of spread
The forward progress per time unit of the head re or another specied part of the re perimeter. The key variables affecting rate of spread are the type, arrangement and quantity of fuel, the dead fuel moisture content,wind speed at the re front, the width of the re and the slope of the ground.

Rear (heel or back)


The section of the perimeter opposite to and usually upwind or down slope from the head of the re.

Sector
A portion of the re perimeter under the control of a Sector Commander who is supervising a number of crews.

Red Flag Warning


A warning issued when there is a signicant change to any critical information that may adversely affect the safety of personnel at an incident.

Situation report (SITREP)


Brief situation report of re, usually given at regular intervals.

Spot re
Isolated res started ahead of the main re by sparks, embers or other ignited material, sometimes to a distance of several kilometres.

Relative humidity (% RH)


The amount of water vapour in a given volume of air, expressed as a percentage of the maximum water vapour the air can hold at that temperature.

Spotting
The ignition of spot res from sparks or embers.

Representative fraction
See map scale.

Stag
A large, old tree either dead or with signicant dead upper branches. Often hollow with an opening at ground level. Once alight, a stag represents a major hazard.

Retardant
Chemicals mixed with water to inhibit combustion.

Ribbon bark/Candle bark


Long streamers of bark that have peeled from some eucalypt species that form re brands conducive to very long distance spotting.

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Glossary

Standard operating procedures


A set of organisational directives that establish a standard course of action on the reground to increase the effectiveness of the reghting team. They are written, ofcial, applied to all situations, enforced and integrated into the agencys management of incidents.

Tactics
The tasking of personnel and resources to implement the incident strategies. Incident control tactics are accomplished in accordance with appropriate agency procedures and safety directives. Tactics are normally determined at Division/Sector level with a corresponding allocation of resources and personnel.

Static water supply


A dam, lake, river, creek, pool or tank.

Task
A job given to any reghting force or unit.

Strategy
A statement detailing how an objective is to be achieved.

Topographical map
A map that shows contours, mountains, valleys, patterns of rivers and all other natural and manmade features on the landscape.

Structural reghting
Fires that occur in structures or buildings.

Suction hose
Hose, made in various diameters, of reinforced rubber or plastic, used to draft water from a static supply i.e. ponds, dams, creeks, tanks or rivers.

Topography
The surface features of a particular area or region. It may include mountains, rivers, populated areas, roads, railways and vegetation.

Sunburn
Injury to the skin, including redness of the skin, tenderness, and sometimes blistering, following excessive exposure to unltered ultraviolet rays produced by sunlight.

Transmission lines
Overhead conductors generally supported by steel towers that may operate at extra high voltage (66,000 volts to 500,000 volts).

True north
The direction to the North Pole.

Surface re
A re which travels just above ground surface in grass, low shrub, leaves and forest litter.

Unconscious
Not conscious, unaware of what is happening.

SWER lines
Single wire earth return: a single conductor on poles usually run in rural areas at high voltage (12,700 volts).

Volute
A part of the casing in a centrifugal pump, shaped like the shell of a snail where the water exits the pump.

Synthetic
Man-made, not natural.

Water hammer (shock)


The shock caused by opening and shutting off a hydrant, pump delivery or controlled branch too quickly.

Wetting agent
A chemical added in low concentration to water. It is used in reghting to break down the surface tension of water and improve its penetration into fuels.

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Abbreviations and Acronyms


Abbreviation AAR BEST BOM CIIPS CIS CISM DMO DRA FGP HQ hrs IAP IC ICC IMT kPa LACES m mm OH&S OIC PPC PPE Meaning After Action Review Bureau of Emergency Services Telecommunications Bureau of Meteorology Cool fuel, Insolate fuel, Insulate fuel, Penetrate fuel, Smothers combution. Critical Incident Stress Critical Incident Stress Management District Mechanical Ofcer (CFA) Dynamic Risk Assessment Fire Ground Practice (CFA) headquarters hours Incident Action Plan Incident Controller Incident Control Centre Incident Management Team kilopascal Lookout, Awareness, Communication, Escape Routes, Safety Zones metre millimetre Occupational health and safety Ofcer-in-Charge Personal protective clothing Personal protective equipment

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Abbreviations and Acronyms

Abbreviation PTT RF ROPS SMEACS SMR SO SOP SPA SPADRA SPF VHF WATCHOUT

Meaning Push to talk Radio frequency Roll over protection system Brieng format; Situation, Mission, Execution, Administration and logistics, Command and communication, Safety. State Mobile Radio Chief Ofcers Standing Order (CFA) Chief Ofcers Standing Operating Procedure Safe Person Approach Safe Person Approach Dynamic Risk Assessment Sun protection factor Very high frequency Weather, Actions, Try out, Communicate, Hazards, Observe, Understand, Think.

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Notes

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Notes

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