Firefighters train students on difficult rescue scenarios

Firefighter Jon MacDonald helps Able Seaman Conner Dulisch repel from a training tower at the CFB Esquimalt Fire and Rescue Aug. 20. Photo by Peter Mallett, Lookout Newspaper

Firefighter Jon MacDonald helps Able Seaman Conner Dulisch repel from a training tower at the CFB Esquimalt Fire and Rescue Aug. 20. Photo by Peter Mallett, Lookout Newspaper

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

Students from Naval Fleet School (Pacific) (NFS(P)) are getting difficult rescue training from CFB Esquimalt Fire and Rescue after the launch of a new partnership. 

Last Monday, two members of the base fire department were perched high atop a training tower located at the rear of the fire hall on Esquimalt Road. Firefighters Jon MacDonald and Keith Lee were kept busy helping 15 students complete the Helo Rescue portion of their Hull Technician Qualification Level 5 (QL5) training course.

Marine Technicians (MarTech), a new trade that combines elements of the Marine Engineer, Hull Technician and Electrical Technician, are responsible for firefighter billets while at sea. That includes employing the proper procedures for rope rescues.

“The training is a sharp learning curve for most and with this type of training it’s always about safety,” said Lee. “We explain all of the safety devices and procedures to build their confidence. It’s not a rush, we don’t want them to rush into anything. We give them an opportunity to learn by watching other people.”

Students learn procedures for tying rope knots, the details of their personal protective equipment, the mechanics of the repelling manoeuvre, and how to use the hardware and repelling devices.

On day two of training the group focusses on patient packaging and how to rescue an accident victim from a difficult area.

While the first two days of training had students learning how to use their equipment in a controlled environment and the relative safety of the fire department’s training centre, on Aug. 22 they took their skills into the real world.

Students and firefighters embarked in HMCS Vancouver to learn more about proper rope techniques on Canadian warship ladders, rescues in tight engine spaces, and hangar-top rescues.

Sergeant Stephanie Harding, Senior Firefighter with NFS(P) Damage Control School, says an agreement to cooperate on training was struck earlier this year. Members of the Damage Control School approached Deputy Chief Geordie Douglas with the idea, and Sgt Harding says the partnership with CFB Esquimalt Fire and Rescue was going “wonderfully.”

Filed Under: Top Stories

About the Author: The Lookout Newspaper can trace its history back to April 1943 when CFB Esquimalt’s first newspaper was published. Since then, Lookout has grown into the award winning source for Pacific Navy News. Leading the way towards interactive social media reach, we are a community resource newspaper growing a world wide audience.

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