30 September 2020

TAFE NSW wildfire awareness course to help protect local communities

| Sharon Kelley
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Bushfire burning in distance at night.

TAFE NSW has introduced an online course for residents ahead of the bushfire season. Photo: File.

TAFE NSW has launched an online course for residents in bushfire-prone communities to equip support workers with the skills they need to better protect land and assets from deadly wildfires.

TAFE NSW National Centre for Emergency Management Studies team leader Christine Schlegel said the accredited course will play an important role in ensuring support workers on the frontline are armed with the skills and knowledge to help protect firefighters and communities.

“Australia has been through the most devastating bushfire season in our history and there has never been a more critical time to ensure those who support firefighters have the best knowledge and skills available,” she said.

“This qualification will equip students with the practical knowledge they need to identify key risks and take the necessary precautions to keep themselves and others safe.”

The TAFE NSW Course in Basic Wildfire Awareness is the minimum qualification for personnel who support firefighters on the frontline, including police, ambulance officers, wildlife carers, media liaison personnel, first aid officers, utility company employees and campground hosts.

The one-week online course comes on the back of the catastrophic Black Summer bushfires, which killed 33 people, destroyed more than 3000 homes, tore through more than 17 million hectares of land, and cost the Australian economy more than $100 billion.

Units offered include safe work practices; locating and travelling to a wildfire; wildfire behavior; wildfire suppression and equipment; and communications and briefings.

The course, developed with the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council, will be delivered by emergency services veteran Darryl Bailey, a training advisor with NSW SES and a firefighter for more than a decade with Fire and Rescue NSW.

To find out more about enrolling in the Course in Basic Wildfire Awareness, call 13 16 01, or visit the TAFE NSW website.

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