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Tassie supporting Queensland firies’ fast water training


Tasmania's lending a hand in training Queensland firefighters undergoing fast water training.

On the banks of the Broken Bridge Rapids on the Derwent River, around 10 kilometres west of New Norfolk is an exercise like no other.

Hydro Tasmania is releasing around 100 tonnes of water a second from Meadowbank Dam to give the 13-strong Queensland crew and six instructors some whitewater training.

Matt Roser, Station Officer from the Gold Coast says the training exercise in Tasmania provides the perfect conditions.

"We need really consistent water flow to conduct the training, although we have got some rivers in Queensland, we sometimes lack that consistency. Hydro Tasmania have been good enough to allow us specific release levels which really assists in our training," Mr Roser said.

During the exercises, the group goes against the flow in several inflatable emergency rescue boats, rescuing a dummy which is made more difficult by a rushing torrent.


"We're already swift water technicians, but this is extra training on top of that capability. It gives them a range of tools that they can use when they come to swift water operations."

"Patient pickups, holding and ferrying - these are the things they'll use operationally," he said.

The Motorised Swiftwater Rescue Craft training is part of QFES’ Tech rescue capability. Crews can be called on at a moment’s notice anywhere in Queensland and can be deployed interstate too if needed.

It's a suitable environment for a team credited with saving lives in January's devastating Townsville floods.

Images: Alex Jackson