Before I get into what the fire departments did today, I have to tell you that I didn’t do much more than take a ton of pictures. I had planned to do something during our training, but I didn’t feel confident enough to try. Long story, but unimportant right now. I participated in Thursday’s classroom component, so I was happy about that.
Firefighters from five departments gathered at the Mullen Volunteer Fire Department’s training center today in 80-degree heat to don SCBA packs and heavy gear to train to keep the communities safe.
An obstacle course was the first order of business. Firefighters had to crawl, carry hose, move a tire, drag a railroad tie and use a sledge hammer (for two minutes) against the clock—and do the course in reverse order to get back to the beginning. They had the option of stopping if they felt like they were in trouble, but most opted to finish in spite of fatigue and heat.
While some were doing obstacles, others were in the building crawling through boxes. The purpose was to learn techniques for navigating small spaces in the dark. Learning not to panic is the key to survival. Practice is necessary to avoid panic.
Lunch was served (pizza!), and the firefighters went back to work. They practiced search and rescue as well as fighting live fire. New firefighters (and veteran members of the departments) learned and/or reviewed how to ventilate a room and work the nozzles. It was a hard day’s work, but safety is worth it.