The Port Augusta Metropolitan Fire Service have returned home with a brand new plaque to add to their collection.
After placing second in the Regional Operations and Audit Proficiency Assessment, they can proudly hang the 2017 Regional Command Shield.
As well as a silver place finish, they also took out the Most Improved shield against 16 other regional MFS stations.
Through three intense hours, crew members were chosen at random to participate in activities which tested their operational readiness and equipment knowledge.
This year’s main proficiency drill tested the crews on their hazmat operational skills, something that Far North and Eyre MFS Commander Noel Dodd said the Port Augusta team excelled at.
“The MFS strives for excellence in public value and service delivery to the community, and operational readiness is one of those service deliveries that we pride ourselves on – to achieve what these people have achieved is extremely pleasing,” he said.
“To have the accolades of a station that finishes second in the state is a testament to the commitment that this particular station has to the community and preparing themselves for whatever the community needs from them.”
While it all comes down to one night, the crew spend the entire year preparing with around 400 call-outs annually as well as weekly mandatory training exercises.
Port Augusta MFS Station Manager Darren McNamee takes pride that his crew is ready for anything.
“Whether it be road crash rescue, hazmat, structural fire, special service incident or anything along those lines, it is just part and parcel of what these people do in preparation for their role as firefighters to the community,” he said.
“A lot of it comes down to the dedication and commitment the crew has to make sure they know their job within the service.”
With a healthy rivalry based on who picks up the pizza tab at the end of the year, sister stations Port Augusta, Port Lincoln and Whyalla are particularly competitive.
“It’s always a matter of we want to beat you no matter where we are on the ladder, so there’s always that bit of competition to make sure we out do the rest of them,” Mr McNamee said.
With only a few points separating first place to last, Mr McNamee is already looking ahead to next year.
“It is not about maintaining it, it’s about bettering it and getting back to that number one position,” he said.
“That’s the goal for all 16 stations — to be number one in the state — so we have just got to sit down and review the results, see where we are lacking and not only improve in that area but also to make sure the rest of it is squeaky clean as well.”
The Port Augusta MFS are currently recruiting new members to add to their award winning crew.