On 2 December 2020, the Perth fire team, along with a number of fire engineers, building surveyors and consultants, joined the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) for their first Built Environment Branch Industry Day. Held at the Western Australia Fire and Emergency Services (WAFES) Academy, the day was an opportunity for industry stakeholders to observe firefighting procedures, use firefighting equipment and discuss DFES operational requirements. The morning started with a number of presentations covering the effects of structural integrity on fire separation, various test methods for grading materials, the DFES Commissioner’s operational requirements and the new FPAA101D sprinkler system. The team also got the chance to observe the latest cadets in their final days of training, where they attended a staged fire on the academy grounds.
After lunch, they were given the opportunity to get hands-on and put their firefighting skills to the test. First up was breathing apparatus training, where they were fitted with breathing masks and air tanks; the total kit weighed over 20 kilograms! After navigating around an obstacle course blindfolded, and retrieving a fire casualty, the team were given the opportunity to drag some charged fire hose. Weighing 120 kilograms, the entire Floth team had to work together to carry the hose up 3 storeys to the ‘fire’ on the roof.
Aside from exhaustion, it gave the team a greater understanding and appreciation for the fire brigade and their operational requirements. They will definitely be thinking twice before proposing seemingly insignificant solutions such as middle level hydrant landings, extra lengths of hose or extended travel to hydrants in the future!