TRAFFIC crashes, rather than fires, are keeping Apollo Bay’s firefighters busy.
Apollo Bay Fire Brigade captain Colin Coleman said the town’s firefighters had training in road and rope rescues as well as firefighting.
“We average about 70 to 80 calls a year; about 80 per cent of those are car accidents,” Mr Coleman said.
“If we need to extricate people you do cut outs, assist ambos with patient retrieval, do whatever is needed,” he said.
“We also have high-angle rope gear, so we can also do rescue from cliffs and that sort of thing.”
The 20-year Country Fire Authority veteran regularly attends car crashes and says seeing accidents affects the way he drives.
“For sure, it does make you think when you see things done on the road, you think of what could have been,” Mr Coleman said.
“You see it constantly as well; I think sometimes it’s sheer luck that we don’t have a lot more,” he said.
“When you see these accidents, you realise it doesn’t have to be a very big obstacle to do some really serious damage.”
The Apollo Bay CFA brigade has training in road and rope rescue as well as firefighting.
Mr Coleman said his message for young drivers was “think about your actions”.
“When you are young you think you are pretty bullet proof,” he said.
“The peer pressure is a big thing with young drivers, just be strong enough to not be influenced by what other people are doing.”
Mr Coleman said the brigade had helped at “pretty bad” accidents.
“We have a debriefing after and assistance is offered if needed,” he said.
“We are virtually the only emergency service in Apollo Bay, we don’t have SES.”
The brigade’s territory includes part of the Great Ocean Road.
“We cover almost from three quarters of the way to Lorne right through to Lavers Hill for car accidents,” Mr Coleman said.
“And almost that area for fire as well,” he said.
“And we’ve only got 16 members; it’s a big commitment for everybody.”
Tags: Police and Emergencies