Firefighters scale Melbourne icon while learning new skills

Fire Rescue Victoria’s newest specialist firefighters have taken on an iconic Melbourne landmark as they prepare to put their training into practice.

Wednesday, 21 April 2021 at 12:01 am

Firefighters from FRV’s High Angle Rescue Techniques (HART) Team today took part in a rescue exercise at the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel, as part of their specialist training.

The team of 18 firefighters has been taking part in a six-week course which simulates real-life rescue scenarios and qualifies them to perform rope rescues.

The training exercises have taken place at locations across Victoria, including Mount Arapiles in the Wimmera, high voltage towers and Mount Macedon.

Course instructor, Senior Station Officer Mac Hanson, said being able to access sites like the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel was vital to ensuring the HART Teams are prepared for any scenario they may face while on duty.

“Our HART Teams are highly skilled at complex rescues, and can face some really challenging situations when it comes to getting people to safety,” Senior Station Officer Hanson said.

“It’s fantastic to have access to a site like this to ensure our firefighters are well and truly equipped to respond to any emergency scenario they may face.

“We’re very fortunate to have such an incredible view from our workplace, and we’re grateful to the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel for allowing us to train here.”

Melbourne Star Observation Wheel spokeswoman Nicole Hill welcomed the opportunity to work proactively with Victoria’s fire and rescue services.

“Being an iconic Melbourne tourism attraction, we are honored to be able to offer Fire Rescue Victoria the opportunity to use our unique structure to train for high angle rescues,” she said.

“While a rescue here would be unlikely, it’s great to know that tourists visiting us, or other attractions, are in safe hands.”

FRV’s High Angle Rescue Techniques (HART) technicians use specialist training and equipment to rescue people trapped in dark, tight spaces at height, or below the ground. The team has been operating across Victoria since 1991.