SFD rescue hones skillsSuperior firefighters charged into a burning structure more than 15 times this week to save victims.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Superior firefighters charged into a burning structure more than 15 times this week to save victims.
The rescue training took place in a burn trailer in the headquarters parking lot.
Like the training tower that was set up last week, the trailer is on loan from the Cloquet Fire Department.
Just to prep a house for similar training would take the department a week, according to Battalion Chief Scott Gordon. The high-tech tool offers fire and smoke at the touch of a button, and an instant shut-off feature. That came in handy Thursday when a firefighter providing support for the training outside the trailer cut his hand. Gordon said they were able to immediately shut the flames and smoke down so the firefighter could be transported to the hospital.
Superior Fuel donated approximately 500 gallons of propane for the training exercises, Gordon said.
“It’s a very generous donation,” he said.
Next week, firefighters will be bringing a trailer of their own to elementary schools throughout Superior. Children in kindergarten through third grade will get a trip through the Fire Safety House, complete with fog-machine “smoke,” as part of Fire Prevention Week. The department will also hold an open house at headquarters, 3326 Tower Ave., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 14.
As of this week, the firefighters have more options available to them when responding to medical calls. The department was designated as a non-transport EMT-B service as of Monday.
“We increased our abilities, what we can legally do,” Gordon said. “It allows us to do more to save people’s lives.”
The new designation allows firefighters to prick someone’s finger to test blood sugar levels, use a tourniquet to staunch blood flow and use laryngoscopes and forceps to open blocked airways.
All members of the department had to be certified as Emergency Medical Technicians to get the designation. Grants covered the cost of the additional equipment. The upgrade was free of charge to taxpayers, Gordon said, and it provides everyone who calls 911 with a better response.
The department responds to approximately 2,400 medical calls a year.
Because of logistics, the fire department beats Gold Cross Ambulance to most calls, said Erik Sutton, a driver with the department. Now, they have more tools in their box when they respond.
“It’s good for the community,” he said.