CFA volunteers gain skills loading water bomber

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CFA volunteers including Warrnambool City Council staff gained or refreshed skills in loading firefighting aircraft over the weekend.

Manager Facilities and Projects Aaron Huttig and Airport Reporting Officer Terry O’Sullivan were among the CFA volunteers from districts four and five who took part in the exercise.

“A Hamilton-based water bomber was flown down for the exercise and volunteers completed a number of drills which involved refilling the aircraft with water,” Mr Huttig said.

“The Warrnambool CFA Airbase at Warrnambool Airport acts as a supporting base to refill fixed-wing firefighting aircraft after they have been dispatched for larger incidents.

“Local CFA volunteers undertake additional training and are placed on a duty roster during the fire season in order to ensure the airbase can be manned and operational within 15 minutes.

“Terry’s passion for his job in managing the Warrnambool Airport resulted in him joining the CFA, with a particular interest in aviation support roles.

“Council’s airside infrastructure ensures a greater level of fire safety to Warrnambool and the South West.”

Mr Huttig and Mr O’Sullivan are two of several employees who are actively involved in supporting volunteer emergency service organisations within Warrnambool and the region.

Council Chief Executive Officer Peter Schneider said he was proud of the Council and community roles staff often performed.

“It’s not uncommon for staff to be pitching in outside their work, just as many other residents do, to make their city and region a better place,” Mr Schneider said.