US wildfire deployment gives local Forestry Corporation staff ‘concentrated learning’
Forestry Corporation of NSW firefighters Andrew Condie and Trent Froud have returned from the US international firefighting deployment better prepared to meet local challenges.
The pair joined 138 other Australian and New Zealand firefighters to help protect the American west coast from devastating wildfires.
The Australian contingency from NSW saw staff from NSW Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue NSW and Forestry Corporation sent to help with the bushfire response.
“The deployment was like concentrated learning—we were sent in to do a job and we had to step up and do it to the best of our abilities,” Mr Condie said.
“It was a chance to build our experiences. I’ve come back with ideas and a renewed enthusiasm for what we do locally.”
The deployment was an overwhelmingly positive experience, said Mr Condie.
“The deployment was an amazing opportunity and I was struck by the camaraderie of the firefighting staff,” Mr Condie said.
“Apart from the accents, it was like working with Aussies back home. Everyone was there to help the community and worked with respect for each other.
“I could slot straight in and start making a difference from the start.”
Forestry Corporation is one of four firefighting authorities in NSW and is responsible for managing fire in more than 2.2 million hectares of native and planted forest.
Media contact: Rod Campbell 0428058549