ALWAYS READY: FIREFIGHTER TRAINING
Our firefighters need to be ready to respond to any emergency situation. But how do you stay ready when some of those emergency situations don’t occur every day? You train, for every possible scenario, all the time.
Firefighters take part in “Firefighter Down” training which reviews critical May Day procedures for identifying and rescuing lost, injured or trapped firefighters as well as self-rescue in life-threatening situations.
Personnel certified to drive our apparatus undergo annual proficiency checks in which they’re tested on common maneuvers they would employ in a fire/rescue situation, including setting up pumping attack lines, securing water supply from fire hydrants, and supporting an attack pumper with additional water supply.
Auto Extrication Training
Miner’s Towing has donated vehicles for the District’s auto extrication training. Rescue personnel practice maneuvers to remove victims trapped in vehicles, using hydraulic tools including cutters (the “Jaws of Life”), spreaders, and rams.
Live Fire Training
The District’s Baumgartner Training Facility is a multi-level training structure designed for live fire training. Depending on the scenario, the facility offers up to four strategically placed burn rooms which allow for training in fires of up to 1200 degrees. The floor plan provides opportunities for staging training exercises for different kinds of facilities, for example, single-family residential structures as well as apartments or hotels. A recent “basement fire” exercise involved firefighters descending a smoke-filled staircase and hallways to locate and extinguish a fire blazing in a small room.
The Baumgartner Training Facility hosts other MFPD training events, including confined space training, hazardous materials drills, high angle rescue, and ladder training evolutions. The facility even includes an area left unpaved for trench rescue training.
National fire prevention efforts over the years have had an impact, with fires and fire deaths declining significantly over the past decade. This good news brings with it a challenge for fire departments: to ensure that our personnel remain seasoned and ready to fight fire when it comes. MFPD personnel have many opportunities to practice their skills in a wide variety of challenging rescue scenarios, ensuring they’ll be prepared for whatever emergency comes their way.