Thursday, June 21, 2007
Fire, utility train in safety devices
The Holly Springs fire and utility departments cross-trained on the use of some new safety devices Thursday, under the direction of fire chief Kenny Holbrook.
He said the fire department is bringing what it has learned to other departments, in equipment use for hazardous materials and confined space situations.
Thursday sewer workers learned how to set up a forced air apparatus that is used in man-hole and sewer situations. They also learned how to use a tree and harness to retrieve an endangered sewer worker from an underground sewer system.
“We also trained on confined space breathing apparatus so we can have fresh air in a contaminated environment and also a communication line to that environment,” Holbrook said.
“We are going to train the water and gas workers in using this equipment. The fire department has to know what their job is as well as ours. We are cross trained for natural and LP gas - that’s the reason we go to hazmat and confined space school.”
Holbrook said firefighters are trained to protect themselves first.
“If we do that first, we can help others,” he said.
The equipment training included the forced air component to the manhole, a meter that monitors oxygen levels as well as some dangerous gases, a tree and lifting bridle, and the use of low profile air tanks that are designed to work in confined spaces and to deliver a continuous supply of air and communication lines into confined spaces.
The first to train on the tree and bridle retrieval was Jerry Jeffries with the sewer department. He said the fresh air pump made conditions in the manhole a lot better.
“The fresh air makes it cooler and the odor is not as bad,” he said. “It’s a whole lot better, buddy.”
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