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Old May 27th, 2008, 06:11 AM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Echuca, Victoria, Australiamate
Posts: 179
Fire training?

Its a bit of a new thing here in Victoria (Australia).. but to now gain access to any fireground to film, we have to have previously undergone a WildFire Safety Course.

This applies to anything in town, such as a house/structure fire as well as a grass or bushfire where we need to get vision of the firefighters doing their stuff.

The course is a five hour, one day event. The result is a media pass that will allow you to 1) attend fires, especially major bushfires and 2) purchase personal protective clothing to wear to the fire. If you turn up at a fire without the clothing, they usually tell folks to go away.

This means we now have to wear firefighter clothing, but with the word MEDIA on the back.

Any news camera operators have to do a similar thing?

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Old May 27th, 2008, 09:57 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Fayetteville, NC
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News crews here in the US have the same programs with the US Forest Service and some municipal fire departments. It's been a big help to both sides providing safety training for media folks (who can be dumb as dirt sometimes - I used to be one) and keeping the untrained out of dangerous situations. Some local fire departments will allow certified media past the yellow tape and into the fire scene because they've had the training.

As someone who's had to take specialized safety training for some of the unique situations I end up shooting in (like on oil rigs, special forces building clearings with live ammo or underwater) I think it's a great idea! Just because you're in the media doesn't make you smarter than anyone else. It would seem that any training that gets you access, makes you safer and helps you get a leg up on the competition is a good thing.
"The good thing about science is that it's true whether you believe it or not." Neil deGrasse Tyson
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