Fire Rescue NSW | Hunter report

Senior Firefighter Ana Batterham

Senior Firefighter Ana Batterham

On Sunday afternoon crews from Newcastle, Lambton and Carrington stations responded to a reported building fire.

On arrival crews found large volumes of smoke issuing from the roof.

On inspection, the fire was found to be pig on a spit, well alight.

The fire was quickly brought under control using water and a carbon dioxide extinguisher.

Meanwhile, Maitland firefighters this week were kept busy, freeing a person trapped in a motor vehicle accident, extinguishing bush and electrical fires and responding to a snake in a house at Gillieston Heights.

Newcastle Communications Centre

Fire & Rescue NSW Communications Centres at Newcastle and Sydney are manned by fully trained firefighters.

Firefighters at the call centres have the specialist knowledge required to determine how many resources will need to be deployed to an incident, what type of appliances to send and provide advice to concerned callers.

Newcastle Communications Centre operator Senior Firefighter Ana Batterham recently received high commendation for her actions in locating a boy near Armidale.

 “Six weeks after completing my communications training, I received a call on nightfall from a young boy who was walking home to the mission in Armidale and had found himself trapped in some mud,” she said

“He gave his name and I kept him on the line for approximately 10 minutes, keeping him calm whilst using the white pages to try and find some family in the area with the same surname.”

Fellow operators Senior Firefighter Billy Sluyter and Senior Firefighter Adam Scott-Young spoke to a family member on the phone who was able to give a better indication of his position. Firefighters then used mapping software to pinpoint his location.

Crews from Armidale were assigned, and the boy was instructed to use the light on his phone to attract the attention of the local crews when he saw the lights on the trucks approaching.

Once crews arrived, they were faced with the difficult situation of removing him from the pit, as they were unable to walk over the mud safely without sinking. Firefighters used a combination of ladders and salvage sheets to access the teenager and remove him from the mud. He was suffering severe hypothermia and shock.

“Anna’s compassion and concern for another human being was exceptional,” said Response Coordinator Inspector Glen Lord.

“The teamwork displayed by the Newcastle Communication operators in this situation was also outstanding.”

The Newcastle Communications Centre attends to calls all over the state of NSW. In the event of an emergency, call Triple Zero (000) immediately. 

The Newcastle Communications Centre attends to calls all over NSW. In an emergency, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.