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WORLD NEWS 15
Army October 29, 2009
By Maj Sandra Turner
THE heat of the midday sun in
Dili, East Timor, did not deter
more than 50 firefighting recruits
as they were taken through some
of the finer points of road-accident
rescue by ISF members.
An opportunity to work with the
recruits allowed soldiers from the
Emergency Response Section (ERS),
part of Timor-Leste Aviation Group
11 (TLAG 11) , to display their skills
while helping the recruits to improve
their firefighting and rescue capacity.
The Bombeiros, as the local fire-
fighting members are known, recent-
ly inducted the recruits, who have
appreciated the support from ISF
Sgt Eron Sage and Spr Mathew
Clyne spent time with recruits at the
Bombeiros' headquarters in Dili,
guiding them through the how-to of
Areas covered included initial
accident response, identification of
hazards, vehicle stability, glass man-
agement and methods of extrication.
Sgt Sage, ERS detachment com-
mander, enjoyed showing the new
firefighters how to use the special-
"We covered practical lessons
that included the use of Oxy-Viva
breathing equipment, the Kendrick
extraction device and the Holmatro
rescue and salvage equipment, such
as the cutters, spreaders and recipro-
cating saw," he said.
Sgt Sage said the recruits were
willing learners. The language dif-
ferences had caused few problems,
since most of the activities were easy
"The training was a successful
introduction for the new Bombeiros
in the use of road-accident rescue
tools and we also had the chance to
broaden the knowledge of some of
the more experienced firefighters,"
Sgt Sage said.
"They performed well and were
keen to learn, and also keen to oper-
ate the tools.
"With more exposure to these
skills they will be able to confident-
ly apply the knowledge they gained
He said the ERS had maintained
a close relationship with their "fel-
low firies" and would continue to
assist where they could.
Members from the detachment
also helped train the Bombeiros in
the use of knots and lines.
They provided instruction on
tying knots for rescue ropes, secur-
ing equipment, anchor points and
"The rescue course scored highly
overall, and this was no doubt attrib-
uted to the time and effort the mem-
bers of the detachment contributed to
the recruits' training," Sgt Sage said.
"We have also been working with
them during their physical training
activity for a number of weeks now,
and have watched them improve their
level of fitness as the level of dif-
ficulty of the training also increases."
National Training Centre chief
Alipio Jose Vieira, who attended the
training with the recruits, thanked
the ISF for its support.
"The Australians have been help-
ing the Bombeiros in different ways
since 2001," he said.
"Specifically, their security sup-
port during the crisis of 2006 and
2007 was of great help, as well as the
specific assistance to the Bombeiros
at that time."
Assisting with the physical train-
ing were PTIs from Timor-Leste
Battle Group 6, who had the recruits
out running early in the mornings.
"The Bombeiros are a great group
of people to work with, and we hope
to be able to continue our association
with them during future TLAG rota-
tions," Sgt Sage said.
Ins and outs of rescue
Cutting edge: Sgt Eron Sage supervises an East Timorese firefighting
recruit's vehicle-rescue training.
Photo by LAC Christopher Dickson
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