Photo by Charity Maness/Fall River County Herald Star
A trained Hot Springs Volunteer Fire Department firefighter is flanked by two in-training volunteer firefighters, all outfitted in turnout gear, as they approach a live fire to extinguish it safely and effectively during a live fire training in Hot Springs. This training took place last Tuesday, Aug. 29, in the gravel lot across from the Fall River County Courthouse.
By Charity Maness
HOT SPRINGS – Last Tuesday evening, Aug. 29, a live fire training was held in Hot Springs as part of a joint fire department training exercise with volunteer firefighters from Edgemont, Minnekhata and Hot Springs participating.
“This was the last training for some to complete to earn certification,” said Fire Chief Dar Coy with the Hot Springs Volunteer Fire Department (HSVFD)
It is also an annual training as a refresher for those currently certified.
“We hold this annual live fire scenario training each year to not only help the new volunteers get their check marks for certification but also as a refresher for those of us who are already trained,” explained Doug Shaw, HSVFD firefighter.
Currently, 100% of HSVFD firefighters are fully trained on both wildland and structure fire, yet with the help of this annual training, other departments can increase their percentage of volunteers trained.
The live fire training was held in the gravel lot across from the Fall River County Courthouse and was overseen by not only Coy, but many of his trained staff, as well two structure engines, rescue truck, utility truck and a type IV wildland truck.
The live fire was in the form of a propane tree with multiple shut offs.
The firefighter centered between two trainees had a propane shut off to the tree as well as a firefighter manning a propane shut off valve from the propane truck to the propane tree, creating a controlled live fire.
To get to the live fire training part of certification, firefighters must have passed multiple trainings correctly, from knot tying to equipment operation, from communications to vehicle extraction, hazmat response to search and rescue, use of ladders, ropes, hoses, radios, turnout gear, fire shelters, breathing apparatus, and so much more.
Live fire training is a critical part of instruction for fire fighters. It not only teaches them how to safely and effectively fight fires in a controlled setting with supervision but helps not only the new volunteers but the seasoned ones as well how to think clearly and act calmly under the stress of an emergency situation when lives may be at stake; to remain calm while accessing their training to apply to the unique problems of a live fire where every second counts.
For more information on how to become a volunteer firefighter contact HSVFD at 605-745-4333.