Cudgegong RFS Communications Brigade seeking volunteers

The Cudgegong Communication Brigade for the Rural Fire Service thanked those who responded positively to their last call for new members.

But now they need more to follow suit, maybe some readers nearly picked up the phone but not quite, so here is another opportunity to find out more also for new readers looking at this appeal and would like to get some more information.

The Cudgegong Communication Brigade for the Rural Fire Service is seeking members as the bushfire danger period continues. Pictured are two of the volunteers Jacqui and David Price.

The Cudgegong Communication Brigade for the Rural Fire Service is seeking members as the bushfire danger period continues. Pictured are two of the volunteers Jacqui and David Price.

“Comms” is short for “Communications Brigade”, and are volunteers who mainly use radios to talk to fire fighters from start to finish of an incident, whether it be a fire, a motor vehicle accident (MVA), an oil spill or anything else within their remit. 

All information is logged and times noted, members are not firefighters but support them.

During office hours, the staff at Fire Control Centre (FCC), Depot Road, attend to all triple zero calls but at weekends in the fire season trained volunteers man (and woman) the Comms Room on a rostered basis. 

Keeping it simple a typical time line is, after the triple 000, the appropriate brigade(s) is paged, (they also have pagers in case we are needed in a hurry).

Times are logged.

A truck calls in on their radio with their call sign to say they are responding to the given incident and saying how many crew on board and the officer in charge (OIC), they then ask for more specific location directions.

They call again when “on scene”, meanwhile other trucks are also calling in that they are responding etc.

Various sit reps (situation reports) are radioed through by an Incident Controller (IC) and the Comms log is kept up to date, accepted abbreviations are used for speed.

Please note, Comms operatives are not decision makers just message takers and deliverers to people who need to know. When the incident is over and the IC is satisfied their job is done, they will radio in to say so.

The trucks then report in, one by one, that they are returning to their base, maybe refuelling on the way.

This conclusion may come after an hour or three days or three weeks it all depends on the severity of the incident. 

A long event needs many people to fill the rosters as there are prescribed time limits for a duty.

Also, with six months of weekends in the fire season, many crews of two or three are needed in FCC and the team needs more volunteers to fill the spaces left by people who have retired or moved away from the area.

Suitable applicants will be given the appropriate training and all ages over 18 are welcome.

For more information contact captain David Price on 0419 755 440 or Janet Duffy on 0419 989 322.

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