Ridge Culver Fire Department

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Training never stops....even through a pandemic
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By Captain Mark Thomas
April 6, 2020

Ridge Culver firefighters were able to take advantage of a unique training opportunity during these trying times. The old Sears store had become available for us, to do some hands on training. We were able to put together some quick training scenarios and get the crews out of the firehouse, while remaining safely away from the public. Christa Construction is the lead agency in charge of the rehabilitation of the old Sears store. We thank them greatly for this rare offering. The old store will be converted into new senior housing. They offered the property to us to "do as we please," in the vacant building, before they started interior demolition.

This offering presented us with a unique challenge. We have been vigilant in keeping our on duty crews and volunteers safe during this pandemic. Limiting our exposure has been a priority. The constant disinfecting of gear and the firehouse, daily temperature and health checks, and limiting our training beyond the firehouse has become part of our daily routine. We evaluated our opportunity, inquired with our County EMS Medical Director and came to the decision to move forward with the training in a very controlled manner. Crew distancing whenever possible, pre and post training medical checks and single point of contact gear disinfecting procedures were put into place.

Our crews were able to practice on " as close to real scenarios" as one can simulate. Firefighter rescue scenarios in a fully smoked out atmosphere, forced entry through steel roll up doors, thermal imaging camera usage, elevator rescue, commercial roof access, hose line advancement in large commercial buildings, simulated standpipes, torch work, escalator anatomy, and even some "safecracking". We were able to get our career staff, as well as our volunteer staff, some invaluable training opportunities in a short time frame.

Thank you again to Christa Construction for this opportunity. Please see attached pictures and a couple of short videos of our training.

Attachment Snapchat-12350056911.mp4  (3,502k)
Attachment Snapchat-1655938657.mp4  (4,759k)

Comment Comment 2 Comment(s)

Bill Moranz April 06, 2020 at 5:03 PM
Outstanding! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. So many training evolutions in one venue. There is no academy that provide that diverse set of scenarios (and would allow you to destroy the inside of a structure). So happy that RCFD was able to get this invaluable experience. Rock on!

Tony Mazzo April 09, 2020 at 11:00 AM
Cool stuff! What a great chance to work on a Commercial structure. Awesome!

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