This week at Macca, we get some fire training, hunt ‘wabbits', provide gratuitous wildlife shots (yes, they are adorable) and finish with an update on day-to-day operations.

Fire drill training

We are a long way from the mainland to ask for help if we were to ever need it. We’re not too concerned as we are extremely focused on ‘prevention’, however if something did happen we’ve all received a substantial amount of search and rescue, and fire response training.  

Everyone based on station attended a 6 day fire response training course at TasFire — Hobart before departing for Macquarie Island. To ensure we are ready to act in the unlikelihood of a small fire on station, we have a fire team rostered on 24/7 and conduct regular drills and training scenarios. The team is usually unaware of what these training scenarios involve until the last minute, but as soon as that fire alarm rings across station everyone acts swiftly and efficiently. Our first drill for the new team was held last week and the response was excellent. It took just 12 minutes from the time the alarm sounded to the end of the scenario. A great result.

We take the drills very seriously but when all of the equipment is packed up and the team stand down, there’s always something to have a good laugh about.

Field Training

We’ve been on the island for less than 3 weeks and all 26 of us have now completed field famil training. Field famil training usually involves 3 days and 2 nights in the field. Now completed, we can head off station when the opportunities arise. 

The MIPEP (Pest Eradication Team) field famil training focused more specifically on the pest eradication activities they will undertake during the year. The team covered more distance over a longer period of time (a lot more), tested their navigation skills at night, and entered into areas not open for anyone else, all in search of rabbits. It’s been over 6 months since the last sighting of a rabbit and the team are determined to rid the island of these pests.

Macca’s magnificent wildlife

Some of the other inhabitants on station.

Work Work Work

Life on station is ticking along nicely and we have all settled in to our roles. The Bureau of Meteorology team continue to release weather balloons daily and provide weather observations. The Comms team are servicing radios and supporting a number of the automated science projects. The chef continues to cook up a storm while our doctor completes medicals and weighs us. The trades team ensure lights are on, water flows through pipes, doors and windows open and close and motors kick over. It’s a bit like a small country town, only the wildlife outnumber the locals three trillion-billion to one.