LEADING THE WAY: Ripley Fire Station Inspector Aerron Patterson with the new Ripley Tactical Training Facility.
LEADING THE WAY: Ripley Fire Station Inspector Aerron Patterson with the new Ripley Tactical Training Facility. David Nielsen

New fire training facility benefiting community

IT TAKES a lot of guts and solid training to make a good fire-fighter and now one Ipswich fire station is ensuring fire-fighters from around the region receive just that.

Ripley Fire and Rescue Station officially launched its new state of the art tactical training facility earlier this week which will provide fire fighters with simulated training opportunities to prepare them for real-life emergencies.

Acting Superintendent and fireman of 25 years Aerron Patterson is responsible for overseeing the new facility and said the centre was a great asset to not only his staff, but for fire fighters across the region.

"The new facility provides breathing apparatus, fire fighter and technical rescue training which is not just for Ipswich fire fighters but for all of the West Moreton zone which incorporates Logan, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley and the auxiliary stations who can come here at night time if they need to," Mr Patterson said.

"Normally when we have to do exercises we have had to use local buildings after hours, but now with something like this we can use it 24/7, so it's much more convenient, plus because it's our facility we can tailor it to how we want to run it for a specific exercise."

The $600,000 building is the only facility of its size and kind in Queensland and is the model for other new facilities looking to open in other areas.

Mr Patterson who started his career in Ipswich in his early 20s said if this kind of centre was available when he was starting out it would have helped prepare him greatly for an emergency rescue response and was certain the new staff coming through would be the most prepared staff yet.

"There was nothing like this when I first started so it would have absolutely prepared me for certain experiences I've had throughout my career," Mr Paterson said.

 

The official launch of the new tactical training facility at Ripley Fire and Rescue Station.
The official launch of the new tactical training facility at Ripley Fire and Rescue Station.

"When our staff aren't out on a job they are training and being educated, so this centre is generally used around four to five times a week for various different training activities.

The official launch on Monday included various dignitaries including Jennifer Howard MP who spoke on behalf of the Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services, Mr Mark Ryan and who thanked the fire fighters for all they do for their community.

"There are 24 crew members based here and since July 2016, they have responded to almost 400 incidents including technical rescues, road crash rescues, grass and wild fires, and structural fires," Ms Ryan said.

"These figures demonstrate firefighters' need for technical expertise in all types of emergency management activities.

"The community will benefit from this purpose-built facility which will ensure the highly trained members of our technical rescue teams are getting the best quality training possible to respond to emergencies well into the future.

"Firefighters' contribution makes a huge difference to Queenslanders and their efforts are highly valued and greatly appreciated. "

The new Ripley Technical Rescue training facility is based at the Ripley Fire and Rescue Station.



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