Firefighting Cadets learn basics at Mid-Winter Fire School; Confined Space Rescue was one class

(Riverton, Wyo.) – A group of cadets from Newcastle were gathered in the south end of Fire Station #4 on Saturday, learning the nomenclature of fire terms and participating in drills on confined space rescue. Sitting behind the students was a large tank provided by Stallion Oil Field Services. The tank had three hatches, one on the end, one on the side and one on the top. The students had to learn how to get themselves, and their equipment, into the tank and learn how to rescue an incapacitated  person out of the tank.

IMG_9518But before that, there was some OSHA safety manuals to learn and go over, and a knot tying class. “A lot of what we do here is on teaching recertification and confined space rescue,” said Riverton Fire Department’s Kim Wells, who was assisting with the cadet’s training.

Santa Clara, California, trainer Mike McKenna, said it was important to keep up with changes in the OSHA rules, and he noted the last update was only two years ago. “Part of what I’m doing with these cadets is teaching them how to comply with OSHA, but do so both using our own firefighting language for things, and the OSHA terms so these kids can pass their certifications. We have different terms for things in firefighting.”

McKenna said the cadets in this particular class were also told that they were on the ground floor of their firefighting career. “Once you go into the fire service, you’ll be in training the rest of your life,” he said.

At mid-afternoon on Saturday, McKenna and Wells had the students practice placing and injured person into a restraint that they could then use to pull them from a scene. One volunteer took his position on the floor on a long piece of orange plastic. The students then practiced how to secure the patient into the plastic gurney and were shown how easy it was to move the patient away once fully secured.

Photos by Ernie Over, mouse over for caption, click to enlarge: