Sunday, April 17, 2011

Air Radio Operator and Air Base Operator Course - Goulburn 15-17 April

Volunteers and staff from NSWRFS and the ACTRFS descended on Goulburn last weekend to be trained in Air Radio Operator (ARO) and Air Base Operator (ABO) competencies. The ARO qualification gives them the skills to operate airband radios to communicate with aircraft operating on a fireground and to conduct flight following and Search and Rescue (SAR) procedures. The ABO qualification gives the skills to re-fill bombers with retardant and foam. The course was well attended with 30 odd people gaining their ARO certificate and a further 12 gaining theire ABO certificate.

AJ gives crews a briefing on the operation of the mobile command post

The set-up inside the mobile command post

All the radios you need as part of the ARO role

Crews re-filling a bomber with retardant - note the transportable tank that's used to for storage and transporting of any left over finished retardant product.

NSWRFS have done a fantastic job fitting out the container - it's fully portable and self contained

A number of aircraft were on hand to help with the exercises - here Bomber 222 pulls up to be re-filled with retardent

Bomber 223 - these bombers hold 3,000 ltrs of water/retardant

Firebird 206


  1. It has been noted that there was a couple of ACT RFS members along with the majority of NSW RFS members on the course and that they should be congratulated in representing themselves and both the ACT and NSW RFS in an exemplary manner. I certainly feel comfortable in utilising their skills and knowledge in the future.

    Adrian 'AJ' Lee
    Air Base Manager
    NSW Rural Fire Service

  2. Photo 4 - Crews re-filling a bomber with foam - note the transportable water tank.

    actually they were filling the aircraft with retardant and the tank is for storage and transporting of any left over finished retardant product.

  3. I was at the course on the weekend, had a lot of fun and learnt plenty. Would it be possible to get copies of the rest of the pics taken for our own records?

  4. Hi Guys - You were quick getting this on! I had a fab time meeting you lot too! BTW the fourth photo shows a bomber being loaded with Retardant - Phoscheck - the big silver tank isn't a transportable water tank it is used to mix phoscheck in.

  5. Michael Joyce (ACTRFS)April 18, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    Thanks for the comments everyone. Point taken about photo 4 - I've amended the caption accordingly!

  6. Michael Joyce (ACTRFS)April 18, 2011 at 8:51 PM

    Michael - send me an email and I'll send you the photos - they were taken on my iPhone so they're not that crash hot!



  7. The Portable Command Post looks great and I believe that the NSWRFS has more of these ready to go.
    Great foresight from L&D and an even greater use of a shipping container. Well done to Sam and also to Rural Container Supplies of Albury.