A large fire is a dynamic environment where anything can happen. Lieutenant Robert Bury was the strike team leader of Strike Team 1425 at the Bunyip fires. This is his story about how they helped an injured woman.
As the strike team leader on night shift, I want to compliment the professionalism of the firefighters who helped an injured member of the public in an active fire area at about 3am.
While attempting to rescue four horses from the fire, a woman was kicked in the head by a distressed horse. She fell from the back of the truck and received a severe head injury. Doreen Fire Brigade’s ultralight, which had been tasked with escorting the horse truck, was on scene at time of the accident.
Firefighters Andrew Connell and Leigh McDonald assessed the situation and provided immediate first aid.
They contacted the strike team command car, the Doreen field command vehicle (FCV), and CFA members Michael Harding and Jarrod Middleton also helped the woman.
Communications at this location were poor but eventually the requested ambulance arrived escorted by the Doreen ultralight.
We were fortunate to have the assistance of two skilled nurses who were crewing other trucks in the area, plus Strike Team Leader Daniel May and firefighters Josh Finlayson and Rohan Rizzoli who heard the radio transmissions and came to help.
Meanwhile the four other ultralight crews that formed Strike Team 1425 continued to provide asset protection in the sector.
The injured woman was transported by road to the Alfred Hospital.
Firefighters are used to turning chaos into calm, but this was an unexpected situation. Well done to all involved.