Training 2023 completed

SAVEM Training for 2023 concluded on 3 December, with a finale of Christmas cake and (non-alcoholic) drinks. A number of courses were run during the year by the diligent and hard-working Training Team, including SAVEM Level 1, Exercise In-Tent, Exercise Respond, Radio Communications, Operational Update and Vehicle Orientation. Thanks to the Cherry Gardens Memorial Hall committee for their support of SAVEM using the hall as a training venue, and to all who participated and contributed to SAVEM’s key aim in all we do – continuous improvement.

The year began with the River Murray floods – a very different response from the many fires we have attended. Valuable experience was gained and lessons learnt from this medium-speed onset hazard. Collaboration with the Department of Environment and Water was strong and productive, and we look forward to working alongside DEW in the future where a wildlife response is required. Thanks to all SAVEM volunteers who rapidly made themselves available.

Exercise Respond 2023 was again held on private property. A fictitious fire event is described, teams are activated and briefed, and are allocated various scenarios to which they respond. Safety briefing always includes a list of potential hazards, including snakes. This year, a large red-bellied black snake was encountered very close to the location of an “animal” to be retrieved. Real-life hazards happen even in Exercises, and this was a very timely reminder of what could very easily be encountered in the field.

Peacetime 2023 is over. Summer 2023/2024 will be what it will be, but SAVEM is well prepared.

Finding an “injured animal” at Exercise Respond 2023

Venomous snakes are a serious in-field hazard.

SAVEM’s inflatable Air Shelter field hospital at Exercise InTent 2023