March 11, 2009

Getting ready for “the big one”

Filed under: Crew 1,Crew 2,Crew 4,Duty Crews,Photos,SVFC,Training — Becca Young @ 11:09

It was a busy weekend for the men and women of Sterling Volunteer Fire Company. One of the many things SVFC prides itself on is our dedication to training, and our members certainly followed through on that over the last few days. Starting Friday night at the station duty crews 1, 2 and 4 had a variety of training to include basic firefighter skills of hose line pulling, some driver pump operator scenarios, and auto extrication equipment familiarization amongst other drills. Meanwhile many of our members were engaged in more formalized training:

The Spring 2009 EMT-B class spent 8 hours on Saturday learning about patient lifting and moving techniques. They practiced emergency drags and carries, the use of different types of stretchers such as the Reeves and Scoop, learned about relocating patients up and down stairs using the stairchair, and also practiced loading patients on a cot into the back of an ambulance. (Students: Lieutenant Jeff Lindstrom, Firefighter Peter Slattery, Firefighter Matt Solomon)

The Spring 2009 Firefighter I-II class met on Sunday and learned all about basic building construction. This information is vital to new and experienced firefighters as it allows for a deeper understanding of how the building itself will behave if compromised by fire or structural damage. The students also learned about Incident Command System in order to better prepare them for how large scale calls are run. (Firefighter I-II Students: Taylor Bagnall, Andrew Engelken, Matt Gallegos, Louis Glazer, Dennis Haeberle, Bobby Halouska, Jackson Haskell, Jeff Murray, Tanner Purnhagen, Mark Rabideau, Andrew Sullivan. Firefighter II Students: Firefighter Lano Avila, Firefighter Ken Krohn).

EMT-B and Firefighter I-II comprise the bulk of basic training for members of the SVFC. However, that is only the beginning for most members as there is a wide variety of advanced level classes available through the individual stations, the County, State programs as well as other jurisdictions.

Ashburn Volunteer Fire and Rescue is currently hosting an Instructor I class. This class does exactly what it sounds like: it teaches people how to teach. It is an introductory class on how to present a lesson plan utilizing the visual aid of choice – the powerpoint. Once finished with this class students can continue on to take more focused classes to become certified as a Fire School Instructor amongst other things. It also lays the foundation for anyone who wishes to become an Officer in the future. (Instructor I Students: Lieutenant Dan Ketcham, Master Technician Dan Gregory, Firefighter Kirk Picou).

Loudoun County Fire-Rescue presents a series of Leadership classes every Spring. This year’s series kicked off with Leadership I this past weekend. This course is a very engaging discussion geared towards furthering the student’s self awareness and ability to be successful on a company level. This class will be followed up later this month and next with Leadership II and Leadership III. (Leadership I Students: Master Technician Scott Newcomer, Firefighter Chris Ouellette, Firefighter Christina Goodman).

Virginia Department of Fire Programs sent instructors up from all parts of Virginia this weekend to present a class at the LCFR Training Academy on Heavy Vehicle Rescue. This course certifies students as a Heavy Tactical Rescue-Vehicle Rescue Technician and expands upon the basics of passenger car extrication techniques to include things like tractor-trailers, garbage trucks, school buses, etc. Students got to practice cribbing and cutting, lifting heavy vehicles off of passenger cars, controlled roll overs, and many other skills. (HTR-VR Extrication Technician Students: Lieutenant Bill Graham, Technician Tim Duckworth, Technician Becca Welsch, Technician Chris Sutherland, Firefighter John Javelle, Firefighter Kevin Young).

Just a few feet from the Extrication class, Leesburg Volunteer Fire Company held a training session of their own, utilizing the burn building for training burns. They ran practice response scenarios with live fire inside the burn building in order to practice skills and help train new up and coming firefighters. Helping the LVFC with these burns were two of our own members, Lieutenant Dan Ketcham and Master Technician Geoff Davis. Participating in the burns was David Fierstein who is a firefighting member of both companies.

Photos courtesy of Tech Tim Duckworth and FF Jon Hickman

Crew 2
Crew 2 doing some rural water and master stream training

Engine 18s crew: Lt Jason Carlo, Tech Grant Serbousek, FF Jon Hickman, RFF Rafael Coelho and RFF Jeff Murray
Engine 18s crew: Lt Jason Carlo, Tech Grant Serbousek, FF Jon Hickman, RFF Rafael Coelho and RFF Jeff Murray

SVFC's old Canteen
Tipping over SVFC’s old Canteen unit so the Extrication class could practice lifting it back up

Tractor trailer on passenger car
The class taught cribbing and lifting techniques designed for multi-ton vehicles

School bus off ground
School bus after crews extracted a passenger car from underneath it

Heavy Wrecker
Heavy wreckers were brought in to demonstrate their capabilities

Garbage truck extrication
Part of the course involved awkward patient removal scenarios such as this tilted garbage truck cab

Controlled rollover
Lt Graham and FF Javelle watch as a controlled rollover is demonstrated using a winch

Taking a ride
Tech Sutherland and Tech Welsch taking a ride in the car as it is rolled back over

Sutherland in chains
Tech Sutherland getting a little too close and personal with the extrication equipment

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