6 August 2018
The annual Linton Staff Ride, held last week, was an opportunity for participants to walk in the shoes of those involved with the tragic event in 1998.
Participants were taken back to Wednesday 2 December 1998 when a fire occurred around 1.00pm in forest north of Linton, around 30km south west of Ballarat.
The fire started on private property and burnt into state forest. Around 8.40pm fire conditions changed rapidly. They went from benign to intense and the fire was extremely fast-moving. Two CFA tankers were burnt over, and five volunteer firefighters from Geelong West died.
As staff walked along the dozer line on the eastern flank of the fire, they discussed the conditions that the operational members faced 20 years ago.
The Linton Staff Ride allows those to experience the nature and challenge of the incident, and identify the challenges that occurred and learn lessons for the future.
Participants considered decision making at a moment in time, as well as the human factors that occur in everyday life. A key learning from the event has been around how a seemingly benign situation can quickly turn into a worst-case scenario.
The July 2018 Linton Staff Ride was attended by members of EMV, CFA, MFB, Ambulance Victoria and Corrections Victoria.