They’ve only been in a few months, but crews are already putting the new facility to work. Last Friday, Division One led by Deputy Chief Tom Mahoney, practiced rescuing a cardiac arrest victim from the top of the new training tower. The exercise, part of the FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant, was overseen by Training Captain Rick Hart.
“I think the training allowed them to utilize their newly learned skills in as close-to-real-life situation as possible,” commented Assistant Fire Chief Shaun Heffernan.
The located near the new facility’s apparatus bay, allows crews to simulate ladder rescue as well as rooftop rescue like the one performed on Friday.
While Patch was visiting the department, a real call came in where a construction worker had fallen about 50 feet and injured his leg; Heffernan said, training like the type crews were doing last week, is crucial for situations like that. Firefighters, he said, can sit in a classroom all day, but simulating what can happen in the field, in real life, is the most valuable training the department can offer. (The victim of the real fall is expected to recover).
This past spring, Branford and North Branford fire departments teamed up to practice a at North Farms Park as part of the FEMA grant training. Crews will have one more training session as part of the grant, which they will learn rescue from confined space. There are many places in town where confined space rescue would be needed like at the town wastewater treatment plant and the Tilcon barges.
In the past, Branford would send crews to a to practice rescue; now the new facility allows them to do a lot on site in town. While they won’t be able to actually burn in the new training tower, it can take on 250 gallons of water per minute so they can simulate fire extinguishing. The tower is also built for crews to make ladder and rooftop rescues.
“That was the goal when this building was designed,” said Heffernan, “to create real-life situations like this one.”