Sharing skills during a time of great need

Australia and New Zealand have once again sent over a group of firefighting personnel to the United States to assist with controlling a series of forest fires burning across the northwest of the country.

Port Lincoln’s Dyson Taverner (pictured), the CFS Region Six regional training delivery officer, is one of three people from South Australia that has been chosen to provide skills and expertise to the firefighting effort.

Mr Taverner was a part of a similar effort in 2015, when he was working as a park ranger for the Department of Environment and Water, to assist with fighting wildfires burning across US states including California, Oregon and Washington.

Now Mr Taverner returns as part of a nearly 140 member contingent to assist the more than 12,000 US firefighters who are fighting the fires, which have already burnt more than 376,000 hectares.

Australian firefighters have a lot of knowledge about how devastating bushfires can be and the types of strategies needed to help save people’s lives.

Obviously it's a credit to the local fire and emergency management people that they are willing and able to help overseas.

Mr Taverner, who departed Australia for the United States on Friday, said the international firefighting community around the world supported each other and was willing to help out when needed.

It’s not just an international occurrence, whenever a fire, no matter the scale, occurs on Eyre Peninsula you would often see farm fire units assisting CFS firetrucks in containing blazes.

This latest effort to assist the US firefighters is an example of how sometimes it is more than just manpower, but also sharing skills that contributes greatly during a time of great need.

And there are certainly some highly skilled people on Eyre Peninsula.

During times of great crisis or danger in a community, people need to come together and contribute whatever they can to help each other get through.

Whether it is with a natural disaster, a financial crisis or the loss of a beloved member of the community, it takes many people to pull together and overcome a challenge, no matter the size of it.

Local people know all too well the affect of fires both as individuals and as a community – perhaps that is what makes the members of the region’s emergency services so willing to help others when they need it. 

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