Man...nequin down! Firefighters rushed into a smoky training shed to save one of their own Wednesday afternoon in a rescue scenario that helped firefighters prepare for a nightmare encounter signaled by the beeping of a distress signal unit.
“We teach firefighters how to rescue firefighters,” said Jim Crawford, assistant chief at Midway Fire Rescue, who led the training scenario. “Rapid intervention training is what we’re doing here.”
Three mannequins were down in the training building, each representing a fallen firefighter in dire need of rescue. One had fallen down the stairs. Another was trapped under a collapsed ceiling. But with skills, training and a bit of ingenuity - none were left behind.
“They’re actually using skills to rescue firefighters and bring them out of the building,” Crawford said. “The beeping noises that you hear are the PASS devices, they’re called Personal Alert Safety Systems.”
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The devices come with every airpack a firefighter wears.
“If they become motionless for 30 seconds it actually goes off and it makes that noise so we can go in and find exactly where they are,” Crawford said.
Crawford had 15 firefighters in the rapid intervention training class on Wednesday. Several other firefighters were practicing rope techniques with low-angle rope rescues on another part of the training grounds. Instructors hailed from as far away as Providence, RI.
Firefighters from across the state suited up in turnout gear to participate in Hands-On Training (HOT) at the Myrtle Beach Fire Department’s training grounds Wednesday, on the third day of the SC Fire-Rescue Conference.
The conference lasts through Saturday with classes covering a host of first responder training at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. HOT practices were held Tuesday and Wednesday.