In 2018, Emergency Management Victoria led an Australian trial involving the use of aircraft to suppress wildfires at night. During the trial, pilots wore night vision goggles which detect and amplify light.
Regulatory approval for aircraft use in nighttime firebombing
In this episode Operations Officer Wayne Rigg (currently on secondment to Emergency Management Victoria) discusses his role as the operational lead to implement an Australian first in the use of aircraft in nighttime firefighting. This comes after a successful trial in Ballarat this year to gain regulatory approval from Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
About Wayne Rigg
Wayne joined the CFA as a volunteer at the Eildon Fire Brigade in 1994 and became a career firefighter in 1995 where he was stationed at Ballarat City Fire Station and was promoted through the ranks to Senior Station Officer.
Wayne trained as an Air Attack Supervisor in 2005 and has been involved in aerial firefighting since, where he is now considered one of the leading subject matter experts within aerial firefighting in Australia.
Wayne is an air observer, air attack supervisor and air operations manager and performs a number of aviation coordination roles at Regional and State level.
Before his secondment to EMV, Wayne was the CFA Aviation Officer where over a period of 6 years on behalf of CFA worked with a range of personnel, teams and agencies to implement significant changes in aerial firefighting and capability that have resulted in greater service delivery and protection to ground crews and communities, including:
- pre-determined dispatch,
- Large Air Tankers,
- Airborne Information Gathering,
- Air Attack Supervisor rosters,
- fleet changes and a range of other initiatives.
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