Home' Smart Farmer : Dec 2014 - Jan 2015 Contents Smart bushfire safety
SmartFarmer • December 2014/January 2015
Participants in the course are taught bushfire skills in a non-critical
Women learn to use firefighting equipment the right way.
By ELIZABETH ANDERSON
BUSHFIRE safety prepara-
tions call for the right state
of mind -- and equipment.
For the past eight years, an
SA-developed program has helped
women make the right decisions at
the critical moment in a disaster.
Partners in Bushfire Safety
project manager Peta O'Donohue,
with the Country Fire Service, said
the Firey Women program was an
important step in assisting farming
and rural families get ready for the
Designed by the CFS and Rural
Solutions SA, the course was
borne out of research following
the 2005 Wangery fires on the
CFS, Rural Solutions SA course
Program aids decision making
About 2500 participants to date
Ms O'Donohue said the study showed
women and children were over-represent-
ed in injuries and deaths during the fires.
"On farms a lot of the time males are
off on fire trucks (during fire events) and
women and children are left at home,"
Men often had the right equipment and
training while women were left at home
with little training and the responsibility
for children and other vulnerable mem-
bers of their families, such as the elderly.
"We're trying to redress that balance,"
Ms O'Donohue said.
"(Women) need to become confident
and make decisions."
The program involves an intensive
block of training, generally in groups of
12 to 20, through two days or four blocks
of four-hour sessions.
Ms O'Donohue said the idea was to
enable women to gain new skills, such as
starting fire pumps, without the fear of
About 2500 women are estimated to
have completed the course since it for-
mally began in 2008.
The program covers survival plan prepa-
rations, understanding bushfire behaviour,
collecting survival kits, identifying hazards
around the home and operating pumps
and firefighting equipment.
A core issue is the decision to stay and
defend or leave early, being able to make
the right choices and having the skills to
follow through on that.
Emotional and physical prepara-
tion are also a key part of the course.
"It aims to confront people with
the reality of bushfire and how
they think they might react," Ms
"We're targeting women who want
to improve their knowledge around
bushfire safety and improve their
• Need to know more?
To attend a Firey Women course, send an
email through the CFS website or call 08
Polymaster offers new tank package options
PREPARE for the fire season with
the right equipment.
Polymaster has released new
firefighting tank packages made
with innovative double-strength
UV and resin, making them fit to
last the distance in Australia's
There are three package
options -- trailer-mounted, skid-
mounted and compact.
include a 2000-litre trailer and
are ready for immediate registra-
tion, allowing them to be legally
driven on the road between
They include a Honda four-
stroke or diesel-powered pump, a
36-metre hose reel and firefight-
ing nozzle and suction return
manifold with a 6m suction hose.
The skid-mounted package has
a heavy galvanised skid frame
with a fork on-off capability,
a 36m hose reel and firefighting
nozzle and 4.7-kilowatt genuine
pumps -- allowing users to fight the
fire from a safer distance, pumping
the water higher and further.
The tanks have internal baffles
for vehicle stability and a robust
roll bar for tank and pump
The compact package is suitable
for a fast response with ute pack
The integrally mounted pump
saves tray space with a baffled
tank for vehicle stability and provi-
sion for strap or pin-mounting and
skid-mounting frames available.
These have an adjustable nozzle
with 12m of hose as standard.
Polymaster is a quality certified
company with more than 20 years
of experience in manufacturing
poly tanks and products.
• Need to know more?
Freecall 1800 062 064, email sales@
polymaster.com.au or visit www.
Rural women fire up
Matthew Keast 0427 396 971
31-33 Milnes Rd Strathalbyn
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