Fire training seminar in Parsons, KS focuses on the basics

Fire training seminar in Parsons, KS focuses on the basics

More than one hundred firefighters are in Parsons, Kansas today and tomorrow for a refresher course in safety and efficiency. Many of the lessons focus on simple concepts that are often overlooked during stressful times.

One instructor says some of the basics may not come so “basic” anymore.

“Because of smoke detectors and fire prevention, it’s kept fires down. Which is good! So there’s less occurrence than say, back in the ’70’s, of house fires. So we have to be ready for it, because it doesn’t happen as often,” says Chad Cox, an instructor at the Parsons event and a firefighter in Wichita, Kansas.

Jordan McClinpick has been a firefighter in Mulberry, Kansas for three months.

“Last week, we had two different structure fires. But other than that, we get a call once a month. Sometimes twice a month,” says McClinpick.

“They’re not afforded the luxury of they pull up and all they have to do is pull the hose line and they’re done. A lot of these smaller departments, they have to drive the engine there, they have to pull the hose line, they have to get the door forced, they have to throw ladders,” says Cox.

Firefighters have many tasks, and some of them may look basic, at first. McClinpick practiced the right way to carry and extend a ladder. Any firefighter can do it alone, but McClinpick was told by an instructor to face another firefighter who was carrying the same ladder.

“It’s all teamwork. You count on each other. Communication and teamwork,” says McClinpick.

One teamwork goes down…

“It’s not good,” says McClinpick.

Firefighters also learned about the power of collaboration.

“Things that have worked well for us in Wichita, we share that, and it’s up to the student to take the things that we’re showing them and apply it to their own department,” says Cox.

There’s a technique for removing a lock from a door for an emergency, instead of breaking the door down. Sometimes it’s safer for firefighters. It Also means less property damage. But not all firefighters have proper training for this. And without being open to new ideas…

“It can hinder your operations and hurt your team, as well,” says Pittsburg firefighter Cody Hobbs.

So instead…

“We have to work smarter, not harder,” says Cox.

It’s a notion with a powerful spark.