At the time of writing, things are relatively quiet in Cherry Gardens and this gives us an opportunity to keep improving the station. The training area floodlights to the west of the station are now installed and operational and as always, we continue with our training schedule.
As a Brigade, we have a dedicated hardworking group amongst us who give their time to form the “Sturt Group Operations” team. Cherry Gardens CFS is in Region 1, which covers the Mt Lofty Ranges and Kangaroo Island, and we are in the Sturt Group. There are five Brigades in the Sturt Group, the others being Belair, Blackwood, Coromandel Valley and Eden Hills. The role of the Sturt Group Operations (Sturt Base) team is to provide support to the five Brigades in the Sturt Group, primarily through Communications. The Group has two radio communication bases, located at Cherry Gardens and Belair stations. Each of these has a number of radio operators, and the two teams take turns, week about, responding to call-outs.
When a CFS Brigade is required to attend an incident, the information is relayed from Adelaide Fire (the MFS headquarters in Wakefield St) through a pager system. Brigade members respond to their respective stations and go mobile to the incident. Each member of the Operations Team is also issued with a pager and if one of the Brigades in the Sturt Group is called out, members of the Operations Team are notified through their pager. In most cases, the Operation Support members travel to the station and set up a radio base/ communication center to assist and co-ordinate the incident. As radio communication is required as soon as an appliance leaves a station, the initial coordination is provided from the person’s home using portable radios – these are taken home/carried on a rostering system. As with firefighters, this coverage is provided 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
Depending on the incident, Sturt Base can become an extremely busy area – all arrivals and departures are recorded, as are all radio messages. The entire incident is captured and managed on a detailed whiteboard to view and manage the big picture. This shows which vehicles have been paged, which are mobile and which vehicles have arrived. The Base is very much the support for all everyone in the field – resources such as Police, Ambulance, SA Power Networks, water bombers, extra appliances - anything needed for an incident is all arranged through the Sturt Base.
As the Cherry Gardens Base covers the whole of the Sturt Group when it is rostered, the members often complete many more incidents than the fire- fighters from Cherry Gardens. They provide an invaluable role, keep operations running smoothly and safely and their efforts are always greatly appreciated by the operational units. By definition, any CFS appliance either travelling to or at an incident is highly visible, but without the background support of our radio operators coordinating and operating Sturt Base we would be severely restricted in what we could achieve.
Sturt Group Operations -a very valuable part of the CFS team at Cherry Gardens!
We train every Monday night for those who may be interested in what we do.
To report suspicious behaviour call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
For all other emergencies dial 000 and ask for “Adelaide, Fire” “South Australia”