Fire­fight­ers get trained in Springdale

New King’s Point fire­fighter gains con­fi­dence

Nor'wester (Springdale) - - Editorial - BY CORY HUR­LEY cory.hur­ley@thenor­wester.ca

KING’S POINT, NL — The con­fi­dence An­gela Strick­land gained as a fire­fighter this past week­end in Springdale will help her bet­ter serve King’s Point res­i­dents and meet their fire pro­tec­tion needs.

The Springdale Fire De­part­ment hosted two days of re­gional train­ing Satur­day and Sun­day, of­fer­ing cour­ses in de­fen­sive fire­fight­ing, self-con­tained breath­ing apparatus (SCBA), pumper op­er­a­tions, and ba­sic fire in­spec­tion.

About 40 fire­fight­ers from around the re­gion par­tic­i­pated in var­i­ous train­ing dis­ci­plines.

Strick­land signed on with the King’s Point de­part­ment within the past year, ful­fill­ing a long-time dream. She was one of three women who joined the de­part­ment re­cently, which made the de­ci­sion to fi­nally take that step a lit­tle eas­ier.

It was the first op­por­tu­nity Strick­land had to com­plete the de­fen­sive train­ing re­quired for all fire­fight­ers.

“Awe­some” was a word she used a lot to de­scribe her ex­pe­ri­ence on the fire de­part­ment so far, as well as the train­ing she re­ceived from Springdale fire­fighter Peter Hil­lier this past week­end.

“It was very pro­fes­sional,” she said.

She headed back to her home­town feel­ing good about her abil­ity to pro­tect her fel­low res­i­dents.

“It cer­tainly made me more con­fi­dent,” she said.

The ex­pe­ri­ence also re­in­forced much of what Strick­land has learned so far from her col­leagues with the King’s Point de­part­ment. She said they have done a great job pre­par­ing her.

“It was nice to know that, even though we are a small fire bri­gade, we do all this train­ing as well,” she said. “I ac­tu­ally had a bit of back­ground when I got there.”

Strick­land said she has a new­found ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the re­gional sup­port that ex­ists be­tween fire de­part­ments and com­mu­ni­ties. She Fire­fight­ers prac­tice ex­tin­guish­ing a fire.

said they are there for each other to pro­vide back-up sup­port dur­ing emer­gen­cies, but also for var­i­ous ser­vices re­quired in the pro­fes­sion. Noth­ing could have been more in­dica­tive of that than the train­ing that took place in

Springdale this week­end.

Vet­eran Springdale fire­fighter Everett Pitts said these types of train­ing ex­er­cises are vi­tal to small-town, vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers. He said they come at a low cost, but are ex­tremely valu­able in the pro­tec­tion of towns.

“It is nice to say we have a fire de­part­ment, but it is bet­ter to say we have a fire de­part­ment that is trained,” he said.

“There are a few fire de­part­ments around that are only a shin­gle and a door — there is no train­ing and no meet­ings.

“When a call comes in they re­spond and say they did the best they could, and I say no, they didn’t. If they were trained, they could have done bet­ter.”

Train­ing could be in­stru­men­tal in sav­ing a prop­erty or a life — not just the life of a res­i­dent, but also a fire­fighter.

The Springdale Fire De­part­ment has of­fered train­ing ses­sions twice an­nu­ally for quite some time, ac­cord­ing to Pitts. They avail of pro­vin­cial fund­ing to pro­vide these “mini schools” with cer­ti­fied in­struc­tors, and re­sources such as a smokehouse to ex­e­cute the nec­es­sary skills.

Valu­able skills train­ing is not just re­quired in the field, said Pitts – skills such as fire de­part­ment man­age­ment are also im­por­tant.

“A lot of smaller fire de­part­ments out there can’t do it on their own,” Pitts said. “We feel like we can of­fer it, so why not.”

Wear­ing fire safety equip­ment prop­erly is vi­tal to a fire­fighter. Proper safety gear, and wear­ing it cor­rectly, can save a life.

Fire­fight­ers train for es­capes from burn­ing build­ings dur­ing re­gional train­ing ex­er­cises in Springdale this past week­end.

Proper lad­der tech­niques could be vi­tal in a re­sponse and res­cue at­tempt.

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