Firefighters train in East EndNew firefighters got some fast-track training this month thanks to Miner’s Inc. Members of the Superior Fire Department got clearance last week to run training scenarios in eight East End houses slated for demolition.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
New firefighters got some fast-track training this month thanks to Miner’s Inc. Members of the Superior Fire Department got clearance last week to run training scenarios in eight East End houses slated for demolition.
Battalion Chief Scott Gordon got the go-ahead from Matt Miner on Monday. Less than 24 hours later, firefighters were on location on the 2200 block of East Third Street. They broke windows, cut access holes into walls, lifted each another out of a basement window, carried dummies down stairs, found their way out of buildings and even cut a ventilation hole in a roof.
“These are skills we would not be able to practice in a real life situation until next spring,” Gordon said Thursday.
The opportunity came at a good time, he said. Currently, the Superior Fire Department has three new firefighters on the force. Each of them has a checklist of skills they need to learn. Usually, they learn about one a week.
“We’re going to get half a dozen here this week,” Gordon said. And firefighters can continue to utilize in the buildings until they come down.
With two months on the job, Gordon said, these new firefighters are getting some training that others in the department didn’t get for years.
“I love it,” said John Lundberg, one of the new hires. He pulled a 75-pound dummy up the stairs to a second-floor room and rescued it Thursday; then he did it all again. Lundberg served as a volunteer firefighter for five years. He said he enjoyed last week’s East End training, in particular the chance to practice positive pressure attack, a technique where firefighters flush smoke out of a burning building by forcing air in.
“It’s the first time I had the opportunity to train with it,” Lundberg said.
While firefighters do practice search and rescue in the fire hall, Gordon said, being in an unfamiliar space provides a dose of realism. And the training opportunity serves as a boost for morale.
With no training facility, Superior firefighters rely on partnerships with businesses like Miner’s to provide this more realistic training, Gordon said. Thanks to them, he said, firefighters are better prepared to serve the community.
A number of businesses have provided the Superior Fire Department with training opportunities. Jeff Foster donated two houses for positive pressure attack training. And special rescue drills have been set up at Graymont, Midwest Energy, BNSF railroad and Elkhorn Industries in response to specific safety situations.