On Their Two Days Off This Week, Firefighters Gather to Practice Skills

Press release from Arcata Fire:

arcata fireArcata Fire District has been planning a joint training event with its neighboring Automatic-Aid partners, Fieldbrook Fire and Blue Lake Fire for the past 6 month. This weekend all of the hard work will come together as firefighters from the three agencies get together and practice life-saving skills and techniques at the Mercer-Fraser gravel plant on Glendale Drive, Arcata, CA.

Arcata Fire Captain John Evenson has been working with local companies to put together this two-day drill for the firefighters. The drill site has been set up with eight simulated vehicle extrication challenges for the first responders to mitigate as if the incidents were real.

“We’d like to thank the companies that made this possible: John’s Used Cars and Wreckers, Buddy’s Towing, GRS construction, and Mercer-Fraser, because without them, none of this would have been possible”, reported Arcata Captain John Evenson.

The drill is intended to build on the relationship between agencies and allow crews to become more familiar with each other’s capabilities on these types of incidents. Crews will practice advanced life-saving techniques in realistic motor vehicle accident scenarios. Weakness will be identified and corrected, strengths will be reinforced and praised.

Blue Lake Fire Chief Ray Stonebarger comments, “It is very important for our firefighters to train together if we are expected to work together. We respond to these types of incidents regularly and we have to be on our A-Game every time. Training is the only way to ensure we don’t lose our effectiveness in this perishable skill”.

Firefighters will practice using each agencies hydraulic power tools and hand tools to refresh on techniques such as vehicle stabilization, door removal, roof removal, patient care, and rolling a dash board. Vehicle extrication is an advanced skill that requires regular refresher training as vehicles change annually. All of the instructors involved in the training have traveled throughout the state to maintain skills in these advanced techniques. The three agencies are bringing their instructor cadre together as a team to share the things they learned from their advanced training.

Battalion Chief Campbell reports, “We have more than 33 firefighters from three agencies coming together to work and improve so we can better serve our communities. I am really proud of all of these firefighters and instructors for taking their only two days off this week, to work and train so they better themselves. Where else do you see dedication like that”?

Firefighters will be at the Mercer-Fraser gravel plant for two days (18 hours), beginning Saturday, August 15th and finishing Sunday, August 16th.

Training Officer Sean Campbell at 825-2000.


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