September 2015 – Prepare. Act. Survive

bushfiresBush fires certainly are a natural part of the Australian environment and they occur regularly. Nevertheless many people fail to prepare for them. Today we learned, that not only people living in areas affected have to be prepared but journalists reporting on bush fires as well.
Marion who is our camerawoman and I attended a media training at the headquarters of RFS (Rural Fire Services) here in Sydney. Without having this training and a concluding test done, access to bush fire areas is impossible.
RFS-MediaDieterRFS-MediaMarion

We learned a lot. How to behave when in buildings, vehicles or on foot was not really new to us. But that the main cause of death in a bush fire is not the smoke, not even the heat or a lack of oxygen, are facts we never heard before. Most of the people dying in a bush fire dye of a heart attack caused by stress.
So we are (more or less) ready for the upcoming bush fire season. Just one little thing is left to be done: we have to buy what they call “PPE” – protective personal equipment. Even if holding our brand new RFS-Media-Card – with PPE there is strictly no access to affected areas.