Last night’s meeting/training was packed FULL of information about Winter Fire School. Several of our firefighters were able to attend. A few of the breakouts covered were the 60 Things You Were Never Taught in Fire School, Hoarder Homes: Piles of Hazards for Firefighters, and The Art of Reading Smoke. As we get the printouts from these and other courses, we will post them here on the website.
“What we’re using on the brush trucks is one cup of clear dawn to five gallons of water and it’s essentially like the concentrate. It’s cheaper and it works..!” ~Chief Rob Lane
During the discussion, Chief went into the problems with dealing with tight spaces when fighting fires. He discourages buddy breathing, since you potentially end up with two injured or deceased firefighters. His consistent message was: “KEEP YOUR MASK ON!”
He also doesn’t want anyone having to remove their pack to enter a structure while fighting fires.
“Boys, if it’s that tight, it’s way too dangerous. We don’t need to be in there.” ~Chief Rob Lane
Chief purchased on-scene wipes for decontamination for each of the trucks. He instructed the firefighters to wipe their faces, necks, and hands while on fire scenes so they won’t absorb all of the contaminates they encounter through their skin. He discussed new hoods that will stop contaminates, but they are four times more expensive than standard hoods. There was a great discussion between the firefighters about wiping the inside of the fire trucks down and they took the time to educate the junior and cadet firefighters about the importance of cleaning the gear, trucks, and themselves to prevent illness like cancer in the future!
The WFPD board approved and purchased new black helmets for the junior and cadet firefighters. Standard firefighter helmets for our district are yellow. The black helmets will help firefighters quickly identify the juniors and cadets on scene. The helmets will also help identify the cadets who (as they age up into being full firefighters at 18) will be cycled into full bunker gear. Several of our firefighters helped the juniors and cadets put the face shields on their new helmets and fit them using the adjustable chin strap and tightening knob.
The district also purchased a Public Information Officer safety/identification vest for PIO Samantha Henley (#103) to make it easy for members of the press and public who arrive on scene to identify and approach her in regards to official statements from the department about situations. This will help the firefighters tremendously, as it will keep civilians away from the scene and the firefighters as they work to contain and extinguish fires.
One of the most appreciated new additions to the WFPD repertoire is a laminated, dual-sided report sheet for each of the trucks in the fleet. One of our firefighters, Madison Schietzelt (#132), came up with this idea after seeing how badly paper stands up in the field. One side of the new report sheet is for Motor Vehicle accidents and the other is for Structure Fires. Each side asks for pertinent information which helps firefighters complete their reports once they get back to the station. This idea was met with applause and eagerness, as the firefighters are often frustrated by papers being destroyed or ink running from all of the water on scene to forgetting to write down key information and having to hunt it down.
Chief talked about taking care of equipment and firefighter safety, reinforcing the importance of both.
The WFPD welcomed four new firefighters who have passed our requirements to join: Howard Ross (#105), Cliff Lock (#125), Justin King (#131), and Chris Dodson (#133)! Thank you for volunteering, Gentlemen!
For the training section of the evening, firefighters cleaned truck 14, refilled all small engines such as chainsaws with oil/fuel, replaced batteries in the LED traffic cones, added the alerting app to new firefighter phones, and the juniors/cadets were tasked with removing and reloading packs onto trucks so they can assist firefighters with this if they were on scene!
Reminder: Extrication training will be March 21 and 28 in Lincoln. You MUST contact Chief or Tim to register, as this is a certified course.
Chief briefly touched on 2020 Summer Fire School. Firefighters are encouraged to participate in Summer Fire School because it is very hands on. Firefighters will get their hands on equipment and practice their skills, while also learning new skills and working with new equipment.
Thanks for checking in with us! See you next time!