Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Firefighters Training for You

I recently stopped in at Fire Station #1 in Fonthill during the Fire Fighter’s regular training night. I was impressed yet again with their dedication, commitment, and hard work.

You see, at the Annual “Installation Dinner” for the Executive of the Fonthill Fire Fighter’s Association, President Les Hildebrand invited me to “stop by some time to see what goes on during a training night.” I was pleased to accept his offer last week.

The forty Firefighters were organized into three Companies.

The first Company concentrated on the Rescue Truck. They cleaned it until it sparkled and checked it out from top to bottom. They removed all the tools and supplies, double-checked them, and repackaged them into the vehicle. They ensured that everything was in good working order for the next call and for their “hand-off” to another Company. You see, their Team has been assigned to the Rescue Truck for the last three months; soon a different Company will take over and they will be assigned to another vehicle.

The second Company concentrated on the Pumper Truck. They reviewed the proper technique for pulling out the fire hoses as quickly as possible; within a blink of an eye they backed toward the vehicle, loaded the hose on their shoulder, and advanced in the direction they wanted to go. They worked to ensure that the hose wouldn’t snag or kink thereby reducing the water pressure. Then, after they pulled all the hoses out, they practiced repacking them properly. Later, a member of this Company took the Tanker truck out for a test drive; I was told that it’s one thing driving a fire truck, it’s another thing driving one in an emergency.

The third Company trained in the hall. One firefighter led a discussion on the use of the Arial Truck and on different types of ladders. He displayed pictures of other firefighters using ladders during a training exercise to discuss proper techniques and to point out errors. The Company then developed plans to test the techniques this week at a home in Pelham; they planned to get hands-on by setting-up the Arial Truck and surrounding the home with portable ladders and fire hoses.

I am pleased to have witnessed this snap-shot of their extensive training. On your behalf, I express my deep appreciation for the dedication, commitment, and hard work of each of the more than 100 part-time, professional firefighters in Pelham.