Station Officer (SO) Matthew Brookhouse has been coming to Wurrumiyanga on Bathurst Island for the past 4 years engaging with the community in regards to fire safety.
Senior Constable Jason Conroy, Wurrumiyanga Police Station
On his monthly visits, SO Brookhouse conducts specialised training with the local Fire and Emergency Rescue Group (FERG) volunteers, gives advice on all matters of fire safety and assists with prescribed burning during the dry season.
Through the Smart Sparkz program, SO Brookhouse enthusiastically engages with the local primary school children to teach them the fundamentals and demonstrate a basic understanding of the difference between a safe fire and an unsafe fire. Including educating the students about the dangers of matches and lighters, the safest method to exit a smoky environment, correct campfire safety, why firefighters’ wear protective clothing, the role of firefighters within the community, evacuation from the home in case of fire and calling for emergency assistance using a telephone.
During the course of the morning lectures SO Brookhouse donned the full breathing apparatus gear and had the children participate in a variety of practical exercises such as ‘Stop/Drop/Roll’ and ‘Get low! Go! Go! Go!’ The local FERG Unit went to the primary school for a practical demonstration. The children were all shown how the fire unit operates, how the pumps start and how the hoses work. All the children were keen to participate and hold the hose and turn it on.
SO Brookhouse is held in high regard in the community. This visit along with the many previous was very successful; the children learnt a lot and enjoyed every second of it.