Pinnacle Safety and Training Blog

Celebrating our firefighting hero

Glenn McLaren, one of our Melbourne Trainers spent his Christmas holidays fighting Australia’s devastating bushfires.

Glenn has been a member of the Country Fire Authority for almost 14 years and fought several of the fires that ravaged Australia over the Christmas and New Year period.

“For me, the bushfire event started in November last year when I was deployed to New South Wales to assist with the Gospers Mountain fire near Harrietville,” Glenn said.

“After leading a key backburning operation there, I was thankful to see the fire reduced to a ‘watch and act’ status.”

“However, just as my deployment came to an end, I received news that this fire had broken the containment lines and had been escalated once again.”

“It was hard for me to leave the team in New South Wales, but at this stage, several fires had broken out in Victoria, so I was needed back in my home state.”

“I spent the end of 2019 and the new year in the East Gippsland region fighting several fires, including those in Omeo, Swan Reach, Tambo Crossing, Sarsfield and Mallacoota,” Glenn said.

“These fires were intense and fast-moving which meant our days were challenging to say the least.”

“It was a tough time for so many people; the devastation I witnessed was like nothing I’ve seen before.”

“We worked day and night to protect the local communities, and every time we lost a property, it hit us all very hard.”

“It was a difficult time, but I was blown away by the way people responded to this emergency, and the incredible support my team and I received everywhere we went.”

“On a daily basis, we were meeting people who had either lost everything, or were about to lose it all, and yet, they always went out of their way to help us by providing food or a bed to sleep in.”

“I guess it was their way of saying thank you, but I was equally grateful for the support.”

“It’s what kept us all going.”

“The effect of these fires was far-reaching and will have an ongoing impact on many people.”

“Every day I think about that time and how thankful I am I was able to help those communities.”

“Unfortunately, I did miss the holiday season with my family, but I was very appreciative to be given extra time off from Pinnacle to make up for the time lost.”

Pinnacle Safety and Training’s CEO, Paul Botwright said he was extremely humbled to hear about Glenn’s efforts during the fires.

“Glenn is a real hero in my eyes and the entire Pinnacle family thanks him for his bravery and selflessness during this devastating period.”

In January, the Pinnacle Safety and Training team donated $5,500 to the Salvation Army Disaster Relief Fund.

Training was excellent, the level of knowledge the trainer had about the subject was great. The practical component was very well done, it gave a real insight into how what you were learning would be used in the field. The smaller class size allowed the trainer to give each individual the time they required to gain a full understanding of the course. Having spent a substantial amount of years in the Construction/Maintenance field, it was very refreshing to participate in training that wasn’t run with the aim of simply ticking a box. The trainer showed a commitment to ensuring everyone in the class would be completely able to go out into the work site & apply what they were learning with a good grasp on the responsibilities that come along with performing the task. It was a well run course & it was an enjoyable to attend.

Sharlene G. - Sydney, NSW

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