Your Fire Department conducted very valuable training Saturday, March 8 at the station. Led by professional firefighter, J.D. Harlow, who is also BVFD’s designated Trainer, a class of five volunteers was provided both classroom and realistic training on several critical elements of firefighting as defined in the State Firemen’s & Fire Marshals’ Association of TX (SFFMA) requirements for Firefighter 1 certification. Beginning with a classroom presentation and a short quiz, the volunteers moved out into the station and began a series of exercises. First was a timed exercise in the proper donning and inspection of their Bunker (firefighting) Gear. Next was hands-on practice in filling the Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) air cylinders. Following these the volunteers were tasked to crawl into a simulated burning building with full gear, SCBA, and blindfolded, as if they were rescuing a trapped individual. Though the added stress of smoke and heat was absent, the realistic exercise was a valuable lesson in working as a two-person team in a ‘blind’ rescue situation. Finally, the volunteers were tasked to crawl through a simulated 16” vertical space as if they had to break through the drywall of a room to rescue an individual. This, too, was accomplished blindfolded! All and all, the two and a half hour training exercise was a valuable and realistic simulation of real-life situations that your BVFD firefighters are apt to face at any time.
Following the training session, Fire Chief Ron Sallman led the firefighters in a debriefing session of the two major firefighting responses of the previous week – both of which were hay fires. All had the opportunity of critiquing the activity: what was done right, what was done wrong and corrective actions to apply to the next event. This session also proved very valuable to all involved. One result of the debrief session was the department’s need to know the locations of available water sources throughout our district. If you have a swimming pool, a stock tank, or large rainwater tank that you would be willing to allow your BVFD to tap into in case of a nearby emergency, will you notify the department via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org ? The department will record the source and have it available on file in case of the need for extra water to successfully attack a fire.
Last, another reminder: Mark your calendars - the Blanco Volunteer Fire Department’s annual fund raising event, the BVFD Fish Fry, will be held on Saturday, April 5, 2014 at Yett Park from 4 – 8 p.m. We hope to see you there supporting your local BVFD!