LIMA — Several fire departments spent their Saturday in school — fire school.
Apollo Career Center hosted the event. One hundred fire departments from an 11-county area were invited to attend the event, which can be used for continuing education credits. More than a dozen of those departments took advantage of the training opportunity.
“This fire school helps keeps skills current because these are tasks that we don’t get to do very often. Not everybody’s going out on a house fire every single day, so these skills kind of get put off to the back burner. When the opportunity presents itself, we kind of have to revert back to old knowledge, old skills that we didn’t train on for two or three years, so this helps bring that old knowledge back up and kind of gets that muscle memory back together,” said Jordan Hempker, an instructor with Western Buckeye Training and a full-time firefighter on the American Township Fire Department.
Among the topics discussed were EMS patient assessment, fire attack, leadership development, auto extrication and force entry techniques.
“This allows the firefighters to gain skills. If we show up to a building, a home, a company or so on, if the door is locked, it’s going to slow our progress in getting inside. So we’re learning techniques to gain entry into a building that’s not going to destroy or create more damage than necessary to go put the fire out, find a victim or figure out what the heck is going on,” said Hempker.
Having a facility like this at Apollo Career Center gives area firefighters a significant advantage, according to Jeff Orphal, public safety manager at Apollo.
“I’ve been out through the state looking at different programs. We have one of the probably the state’s best. With the training tower, with the burn building plus the school invested into a new piece of fire apparatus for us to use, the region is very lucky, and we’re trying to promote for more firefighters to come out here to use the facility,” he said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.