Local firefighters trained on rappeling, AirMed support

© 2017-Uinta County Herald

Many have asked if we use the new fire training facility. My answer to them is “Yes, it is used frequently.” It was used this summer for several training sessions, including training on rappeling and AirMed.

To bring a helicopter into an area requires a lot of work and coordination from the emergency people on the ground, the people at the dispatch center and those flying the helicopter.

First, a decision must be made by the medical personnel on the ground to bring the helicopter in. Once that decision is made, dispatch is notified and they request the helicopter. Not all helicopters are created equal, so the altitude must be determined and that plays a role in determining which helicopter is sent. 

Once the medical team has arrived, a landing site is determined for the helicopter and the address of that landing site is then sent to the helicopter so they know where to go to land. They try to land as close to the patient as possible.

Good communication among the rescue/medical team, dispatch and the helicopter team must be maintained and is very important. There is a lot of work and energy that goes into getting a helicopter to an incident. Training is needed to know when and how to use a helicopter.

In one of the recent incidents, the helicopters were requested by the medical team prior to their arrival at the scene because of the information given to them by individuals at the scene.

Once the medical team was on scene, specific coordinates or an address could be given for the helicopters to land near the patients. By requesting the helicopter early, no time is wasted for the air ambulances to get to the patients. 

People can be proud and grateful for the training, knowledge and expertise that are possessed by the emergency services of Evanston and Uinta County. That includes firefighters, ambulance crews, officers and deputies — plus the equipment that they’re all able to use.

For the month of June there were 24 incidents totaling 158 firefighter man-hours. Incidents for the month were made up of the following: eight rescues/extrications, seven false alarms/malfunctions, one carbon monoxide, one other, four grass/brush fires, one smoke investigation, one trash/rubbish fire, and one vehicle fire.

For the month of July there were 43 incidents totaling 370 firefighter man-hours. Thirty-four percent of calls came in by July 5 for the month of July. 

July’s incidents consisted of the following: eight smoke investigations, 11 ambulance assists/extrications, one other, seven grass/brush fires, one public assist, one structure fire, eight false alarms/malfunctions, one electrical fire, two vehicle fires, one call to assist another department, one gas leak and one hazmat incident.

Factory representatives from Holmatro, the company that provides us with our extrication equipment, trained firefighters one weekend. Other training included rappeling, the Denver Rescue Drill, aerial operations and pumping operations. 

There was also a training night taken to check equipment to become familiar with it, to make sure it was in working order, full of gas and oil and that we knew how to operate it. Total man-hours for training for these two months with the entire special training was 680.

The grass is tall and can be extremely dry, which makes it very easy to burn. Everyone did great over the summer by not letting fires get out of control. Please continue the great work you are doing. Also be very aware of your surroundings when there is a lightning storm. Seek shelter in a safe place where you will not be struck by lightning.