The PBCC main hall in Diamond Creek, Melbourne was completed and in use during September 2011.

At this time the local CFA (Country Fire Authority) brigade captains visited the site as part of a fire awareness programme and one of them passed the comment that this site would be an excellent facility as a staging area in the event of another major bushfire day, such as Black Saturday. His comment was that “to date we have not had a facility such as this in the area”.

The PBCC decided to offer the hall for use by the CFA and thus after some further assessment by the CFA group commander and the staging officers, the site was approved.

On Sunday 18 May 2014, the CFA performed a “staging exercise” with approximately 20 CFA vehicles and about 60 CFA personnel from 8 different brigades from around the area.

Some points about the DCH hall facility that lend itself to being used as a CFA staging area are;

  • The site is secure and entry of personnel can be selective and controlled.
  • The site has lighting for night time operation.
  • Ample room for a large contingent of strike teams.
  • 4 Hydrant points with ample water supply.
  • 1000kva generator to cater for any power outage.
  • 200,000 litre underground water tank.
  • External 3 phase power outlets around the grounds.
  • Toilet Facilities.
  • Space for emergency shelters.

The RRT provided light refreshments and drinks for the CFA teams as part of the trial, demonstrating what they could provide in a real life emergency situation.

The CFA were very thankful to have the RRT present and one of CFA leaders told them that you will have to be prepared to do this on sites that won’t have as good a facility as this one!

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