From something as simple and very often overlooked as stable footing in icy conditions being corrected with commercially available boot chains, to traffic incident management in a place where it is dark during the day in winter months, to proper arctic weather rescue tool choice and crew well-being monitoring, we all have unique and common considerations that go into our vehicle rescue operations.
This small island does not have these luxuries. These brave souls have been tasked with both the duties of an ARFF company as well as those duties of a heavy rescue company without being able to increase their staffing numbers.
In the rural environment, there exist many common risk management challenges such as staffing, training, and response protocols.
Educate yourself, your crews, and your bosses about the changes in vehicle construction, components, new vehicle fires, needed equipment, and new technology. It’s all about “sharing knowledge forward.”
Rural and rural volunteer fire departments typically don’t have the staffing or the budgets to afford a separate wildland division. However, these budgetary constraints don’t necessarily preclude us from wildfire readiness.
The term personal protective equipment (PPE) should speak for itself. It is designed to protect us from the hazards we face as fire and rescue personnel. Are there times when our PPE puts us in harm’s way? I believe there are. For the sake of this article, the PPE I’ll be referring to is firefighting turnout or bunker gear.
Last week I was contacted by two individuals on different days from different fire departments. What I heard from each of them is the inspiration for this article.
My goal for this article is to have you think about what types of apparatus and emergency equipment you might need to deal with a situation or response involving one or more of these types of vehicles.
Firefighters and department officers: invite (and continue to invite) your fire commissioners to training events and drill nights.
Be a student of your craft. Be part of the solutions. Otherwise, you’re simply part of the problem.