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This past month the key word was “training” for the Fire Department. Annual training, new training, monthly training, new equipment training, and honoring the hard work of a training officer were all completed this May.

First we’ll discuss some annual training. Hot Drills are a required training for all 12 of our driver/operators.  This year’s training again took place at the Salt Lake City Airport. These Hot Drills are a live fire exercise specifically designed to mimic an aircraft accident. This training provides us with the skills and know-how to quickly and effectively extinguish aircraft fires and perform rescue operations in the event an aircraft accident occurs at our airport. This training helps paint a picture of what we can expect and actions we need to take at an aircraft incident before a real incident occurs, plus the training is pretty fun, too!

Next we’ll talk about some new training. This past month all three shifts participated in some very informative wildland training with the Twin Falls BLM crews. The training started with some classroom time to discuss fire attack techniques, proper actions to take if we respond to a BLM fire, and a little about their organization and how they operate.  Next we got to play in the sand for a while! The BLM crew provided a sand table with a mock scenario.  The sand table provides a bird’s eye view of the scenario and allows you to determine the proper course of action for the fire behavior, terrain, and resources on scene. We finished out the day with a fire attack drill near the canyon with a BLM mutual aid scenario. This training was very informative and a good source of knowledge to have under our belts, it also has opened the door for more inter agency training in the future.

Recently the Fire Department took possession of a new rope rescue truck, and just in time for our monthly rope training. This new apparatus was custom built for us by Boise Mobile Equipment and has some pretty amazing features. Rescue 2, that’s what we call it, has built in anchor attachments, which means no more climbing under the truck to wrap the frame to provide an anchor attachment, on-board generator and lighting, a 10,000 pound winch, and 3 scene cameras so you know what’s going on around you at all times. With a custom built truck, we now have plenty of room for and easy access to all of our equipment. The new rescue also came equipped with a couple shade canopies attached to each side of the cargo box, which will make those mid-day rescues in July and August a bit more bearable. Well needless to say everyone is pretty excited about the new truck, it is a great tool that will help provide safer and more efficient rescue operations.

A well-deserved thank you was given out this past month to Captain Aaron Hudson for his work in the Training Office. Aaron took over the duties of the Training Officer in June of 2014 and performed those duties superbly. Aaron scheduled classes, taught training sessions, and proctored and graded numerous individual test. On May 8th at the city council meeting, Captain Hudson was presented with a Chief’s Challenge Coin for his leadership and implementation of our EMS program.  A program that has brought our medical training to a higher level, which makes Twin Falls Fire much more capable of helping our citizens in their time of need. Atta boy Huddy, thanks for your hard work!

That’s about it for this month, until next time, don't forget to wave to the boys in the BRT.

Pictures: Live fire drills in Salt Lake-Hot Drills, New rescue truck, and sand table exercise with the BLM Crews.