Prepare your property

Mr Steve Schiller of Gomersal with his two farm firefighting units prepared for the upcoming season.

The CFS is currently trialling a state-wide programme for the registration and coverage of farm firefighting units until the end of the 2021-2022 fire season.

Gomersal farmer, Mr Steve Schiller attended a meeting with other local Farm Fire Fighting Unit operators (FFU) last Tuesday night with the Lyndoch Fire Brigade members, Neville Kies, Reuben Batten and Shane Emms at Gomersal, to learn new information about a region fire response strategy.

Since the establishment of the CFS, community members with farm properties have provided a quick response to the early stages of a fire. 

The value of farm firefighting units has been recognised in inquiries following the Cudlee Creek, Yorketown and Kangaroo Island fires. 

According to CFS, these inquiries identified the need to better co-ordinate farm firefighting units with emergency services to ensure a common approach, as well as the safety and welfare of everyone on the fireground. 

Mr Schiller said whilst farmers have been attending the sessions for a few years now, it is important to be informed about new information for the upcoming season.

“There is a pretty active group of about six or seven who all call each other if we see something, and we always try get there before the fire trucks,” he added.

“We used to always have to register and have a sticker on our car with the FFU on the back.

“Now it is essential to be logged on/off at a fireground to allow for a co-ordinated operations plan.

“You log on and it sends a message to the CFS headquarters so they know when you’re there and when you leave.

“It’s all about safety at the end of it.”

Mr Schiller said registered FFUs will be easily identified when attending bushfires. 

They will also receive more streamlined access to insurance cover for injuries or damages to equipment when attending a bushfire managed by CFS.

Lyndoch CFS Brigade encouraged all Farm Fire Unit operators to install the Alert SA APP onto a mobile device, as a way of being alerted to incidents near their property.

Mr Schiller said he would encourage everyone to get on the front foot with protecting your property.

“Most farmers always have something,” he said.

“It’s about protecting the activities you are doing as well, whether it be harvesting, mowing or burning off.

“You can have a fire extinguisher but that runs out pretty quick so I’d reccommend being a FFU operator.”

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