[Music playing]

[Opening titles: Behind the Scenes: Firefighter Training Camp]

[Text on screen] Jessie Laidlaw, Project Firefighter

[Jessie Laidlaw] I applied to become a project firefighter because I'd just finished my course in conservation and land management, a diploma.

Speaking to my teachers and from what they say if you want a career in natural resource management or to become a park ranger, something along those lines this is sort of your best foot in the door.

It's also just an awesome experience to get some practical skills and meet some awesome young people and yeah just have a good summer.

[Text on screen] Matt Potter, Deputy Chief, Forest Fire Management Victoria

[Matt Potter] The project firefighter program has been going for a lot of years. Project firefighters form an important part of our firefighting force.

We have about 600 each year. This year we're actually putting on about 645 because of the elevated fire risk in East Gippsland.

[Text on screen] Emma Mullens, Fuel management Officer, Metro District

[Emma Mullens] I'm currently out here this week helping our new firefighters with training.

Trying to talk about real life activities and what we've experienced and what they might experience as their first year PFF.

[Trainer] We've tried to simulate some different types of environments, so we've got our grasslands...

[Text on screen] Robyn Allchin, Subject Matter Expert

[Robyn Allchin] They'll also be learning how to construct hand trails. So that's using a rake hoe to go into the forest and build a mineral earth line around a fire to make sure it's contained.

It's particularly important in areas where we can't get dozers in and where the aircraft can't get out the fire.

[Training participant talking into a radio] Hey Billy, it’s Mark. Just doing GFF training, just showing them how to use trump mode.

[Voice from radio] loud and clear from Powelltown.

[Training participant talking into a radio] Thank you very much.

[Jessie Laidlaw] Yesterday we learned how to use all the radios, that was quite fun.

Today we had a walk around the G-wagons and learned how to use the pump and I enjoyed that too.

[Matt Potter] So to be a project firefighter, there's a level of fitness that we need. There's also a desire to help protect communities, that's a big part of it.

We need people who are really good team players, and that's probably one of the most critical things.

[Voices inside a training session]

[Jessie Laidlaw] I think what I'm most excited for is just working in such a great team. So far everyone we've met has been really awesome, really friendly. All the staff, all the new PFFs. So really looking forward to getting out there and working with everyone.

[Music playing]

Page last updated: 09/10/21