VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Brazoria County HazMat Training in January
HazMat Awareness/Operations/Technician Training held in January... 39 in attaendance from 17 different Fire Departments from Angleton to Gilchrist, Tx...
January 19th & 20th and 26th & 27th, 2008 -- Columbia Lakes Fire Department hosted the 2008 Brazoria County HazMat Spring training scheduled for the Brazoria County Fire Field located on Highway 288 in Angleton, where minor electrical dificulties were experienced and the training moved to the Angleton VFD Fire Station #1.
The HazMat Training and support brought a wealth of experience from both Brazoria and Harris Counties. When you need protection for the Region, County and Local communities, here is just a portion of the expertise you will find resopnding to aid:
Brazoria County -
"Doc" Adams (Brazoria County Emergency Management/County Sheriff's Office)
Mike Doucet (Clute Fire Department)
Donnie Shoemaker (DOW Chemical)
Stan Wiggins (Columbia Lakes Fire Department)
Equipment - Brazoria County HazMat Trailer
Harris County HazMat - (View Their Story)
Chief Robert Royall
Captain Bill Hand - Ret. (working as H.C. H.M.R.T. Officer)
Captain Eugene Franco
Captain Richard Lawhorn
Harris County HazMat Team B-Shift Crew -
Lieutenant Shereen Sarvandian
Technician James Lanphear
Technician Bill Hageman
Harris County HazMat Equipment -
Harris County HM-1Regional Response Vehicle
HM-2 Response Vehicle
HMT Training Trailer
Texas A&M Engineering Extention School (TEEX) Brayton Field, College Station -
Captain Cary "Roc" Roccaforte
Associate Instructor John O'Gorman
A lot of quality instruction was provided to a wide variety of Firefighters and EMS crew members. The Harris County HazMat Team and Brazoria County Emergency Response Team provided emergency apparatus, equipment, and a variety of props to train in the areas of Hazardous Material Awareness, Operations, and Technician level information. "Whether in a petrol chemical producing region or not, Firefighters need to know what to expect and how to handle natural gas leaks, 18-wheel accidents, rail car derailments, hazardous material spills, and swo much more.", says Chief Schmitt of Columbia Lakes VFD.
Each section of the training required hands-on drills as they were outfitted with the required PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) from the highest protection (Level A) suits to avoid injury and exposure down to Low Hazard situations of "Level D" attire as they carried out their assignment. In addition, techniques to protect surrounding neighborhoods, towns, cities, and the environment were practiced to ensure a full understanding of the dangers were addressed. The National Incident Management System (NIMS) was implemented to ensure the multi-organization effort required to handle such emergencies or natural disasters are effective in communications, deployment, and areas of responsibility. The Incident Command (IC) structure was put into place and practiced to allow a variety of Firefighters to be exposed to this key and vital role. Once in the IC position it can easily prove to be a challenging job that helps expose areas of command to be worked on. The IC structure is designed and should be used across the country in every branch of emergency response for incidents from the smallest to the largest.
Without a doubt the Brazoria County HazMat Training brought a vast array of Fire Departments together, allowing them to demonstrate their effectiveness when called upon to work together. "When you arrive on the scene you better leave the ego in the glove-box. It doesn't matter if you belong to a 5 member or 245 member department, when you are on the scene we are all equal in value and importance. If our fellow firefighters didn't know what they were doing they wouldn't be there. All too often we find ourselves learning a lot from our fellow and neighboring Firefighters.", said Columbia Lakes Assistant Chief & Instructor - Stan Wiggins. "I'm really appreciated the participation, interaction, and enthusiasm of the whole thing." he added.
The Awareness and Operations Training was held on Saturday and Sunday, January 19th - 20th, 2008, while the Technician Level was held Saturday and Sunday, January 26th - 27th, 2008. The training was free for these GREAT! Volunteer Emergency Responders, which helps everyone gain a lot of great information and training to utilize when the tone (Emergency Warning) sounds. Thanks to Neal Morton and the Angleton Fire Department for rising to the occasion and allowing us to use their facility. Lunch was a lot of fun with all the interaction and laughs shared during this time of re-energizing. Each day lead to enjoying good dinning at a different establishment in Angleton, Texas - good stuff!
Leadership I: Strategies for Company Success
Leadership I for Department Officers and Upcoming Firefighters...
December 8-9, 2007 -- Columbia Lakes Fire Department hosted the first of a three series Officer Development Class. Porter Fire Department was one of five (5) different departments represented with fourteen (14) Officers and Firefighters in attendance. The classes are applicable to every branch of the emergency service industry. The NFA - Leadership I: Strategies for Company Success class was delivered by TEEX Instructor - Mr. Cary "Rock" Roccaforte from the TEEX - Texas Engineering Extension of Texas A&M University. Each class provides twelve (12) hours of training and provides credit towards TECLOSE training credit for Law Enforcement Officers along with TCFP and SFFMA training credit, as well as 1.5 Continuing Education hours. The 2-day course provides leadership skills and tools needed to perform effectively in the emergency, public service, and department environment. The course includes techniques and approaches to problem-solving, ways to identify and assess the needs of subordinates, methods for running meetings effectively, and decision-making skills. Contact the Columbia Lakes Fire Department 979-345-6260 for additional information on the upcoming Leadership II and III classes.
26th Annual Katy Vehicle Extrication & Rescue
26th Annual Katy Extrication Training Scheduled for November...
November 9-11, 2007 -- Assistant Chief - Stan Wiggins, certified Vehicle and Equipment Extrication Specialist served as one of the advanced class instructors while Chief -Jerry Schmitt, Firefighters - Jaymi Wiggins, Ethan Guenther, and Joe Kovar literally cut vehicles to pieces. Eighty-nine (89) cars and one (1) bus was used in numerous scenarios during the training. Every year instructors from Texas A&M (TEEX) and the Katy, Texas Fire Department host one of the largest and best Vehicle Extrication and Rescue schools. Instructors from sixty-two (62) different fire departments around the Houston, Texas area volunteered three (3) days of time to assist firefighters with learning the latest Techniques in Vehicle Extrication and Rescue procedures. Two classes were conducted - Basic and Advanced.
The "Basic" class incorporates the latest techniques and approaches of removing trapped victims from cars, SUVs, Mini-Vans, and trucks. The dangers and cautions while performing extrication are also covered to assure the firefighters are aware of the hazards built into the late model vehicles. Gas cylinders for airbags and hood or hatchback doors are discussed to avoid injury. Literally super strong metals are being used in certain model vehicle that will not allow the hydraulic cutters to work. Therefore, special techniques are used to extract victims as quickly and safely as possible.
Wheels down, on their side, up-side down, it doesn't matter, when victims are trapped in a vehicle, extrication can be performed in a safe and effective manner. Students from Fire Departments, EMS teams, and Law Enforcement around the country come to learn the dos and don'ts, along with how to work more effectively with other emergency responders. Knowledge is one of the primary keys to success and when coupled with diligent hands-on training, good things happen. It's your friends and neighbors who sacrifice their time to learn how to be there when you need them. Think about that from time to time and see if there is something you can do to make their journey a little more enjoyable. If you have time, come to one of the schools and watch the activities. I'm sure you will enjoy it and gain an increased appreciation and respect for the Men and Women who put their lives on the line for citizens like you every day.
Vehicle & Machinery Extrication Certification
NFPA 1690 and 1006 Certification Acquired...
October 2-3, 2007 -- Assistant Chief - Stan Wiggins and Firefighter - Jaymi Wiggins used personal vacation time to obtain the latest information and technology in vehicle extrication. They both completed the required classroom and hands-on exercises and exams for the National Fire Protection Agency 1690 and 1006 requirements to obtain their Vehicle and Machinery Extrication Rescue Technician Certification. The training was held in North Houston by Scene of the Accident, Inc. and TEEX of Texas A&M University. The "Jaws of Life" cutters, spreaders and hydraulic rams were used as the latest industry technology and techniques for extrication was taught on late model cars, trucks, and SUVs. As vehicles change annually, many new passenger safety devices on vehicles can be extremely dangerous for the rescuer. Stan and Jaymi quickly learned the do's and don'ts when it comes to cutting victims out of automobiles and farm equipment. "The days were long, hot, and tiring. Working in full bunker gear (firefighting gear weighing up to 60 pounds) and with tools weighing as much as 55 pounds, you can get overheated and tired pretty fast. Speed is important , but safety for you, the crew, and the patient is everything when it comes to extricating victims from vehicles. No doubt it was worth every bit of the time (14 hour days) and effort (vehicle after vehicle, scenario after scenario) to attend and complete the training." Jaymi explained.
Red Cross Instructor Certification
Red Cross First Aid / CPR / AED Training Now Available To The Community...
October 10-12, 2007 -- Assistant Chief - Stan Wiggins used personal vacation time to acquire the latest information and techniques in First Aid, CPR, and AED (Automatic External Defibrillation). Assistant Chief Wiggins is now offering certification training at the Fire Station. Due to the cost of equipment and materials, the classes will require a $60.00 per student fee. Due to the seriousness of the content, there will not be a class size limit. "This is about saving lives. Every one (1) minute that passes can reduce the victims chances of survival by ten percent (10 %), so, even if there is only one person who wants me to schedule a class, it will be done.", Stan said. Resident and businesses alike, be prepared, contact the Fire Department today to schedule a training class.
HazMat 1st Responder Operations Training
Governors Division of Emergency Management (GEDM)...
October 13-14, 2007 -- Assistant Chief - Stan Wiggins and Firefighter - Jaymi Wiggins attended the GEDM Hazardous Material Training held in Webster, Texas this month. Classroom and hands-on training were required that incorporated cars, semi-trucks, and rail road car crash scenarios. Heath and fire risk determination lead each responder to making fast and accurate decisions for the protection of emergency responders and private citizens alike. As 1st Responders on the Operations level each student was required to suit up in Class B gear and perform defensive tactics such as identifying what chemicals they were dealing with, evacuation procedures, setting berms to control material flow, plug container holes, and package damaged containers into secondary containers for shipment and much more. Additionally, each student had to perform responder "DeCon" (chemical decontamination), which requires the responders to know how to wash and contain the chemical exposures their fellow responders came into contact with. "It was fast paced and intensive at times when you know every second counts as you deal with the Life-Safety of fellow responders and citizen protection, not to mention the preservation of the environment."; Jaymi said. This is just another example of the dedication and sacrifice our firefighters give to protect us and our property. Each firefighter deserves the respect and appreciation we can give them.
29th Annual Clute Training Seminar
Brazoria-Fort Bend County Instructor's Association...
October 20-21, 2007 -- Chief - Gerald "Jerry" Schmitt, Jr., Assistant Chief - Stan Wiggins, Firefighter - Jaymi Wiggins, and Firefighter - Joe Kovar attended the 29th Annual Clute Training Seminar held at the Brazoswood High School. An array of classes were taught by the Brazoria - Fort Bend County Instructors Association and TEEX Instructors from Texas A&M. Students from the experienced to the new potential firefighter received some real beneficial information for their knowledge and advancement.
Chief Schmitt attended the two (2) day National Incident Management System (NIMS) 300 class. The NIMS 300 class is one of a series of NIMS classes that allows all of the emergency response groups (Firefighters, Law Enforcement, Texas Task Force One, National Guard, U.S. Military, etc.) to interact and communicate on a local and national level during disasters. Organization, Leadership Responsibility and Common Terminology are just a few of the important areas of training covered during the two day session.
Firefighter Kovar attended the Fire Apparatus (Fire Truck) Pump Operations class on Saturday and the "What Can Smoke Tell Us" class with Assistant Chief - Stan Wiggins and Firefighter - Jaymi Wiggins on Sunday. Apparatus Pump Operations is a vital key to the success at a fire scene. If you don't have enough or the right water pressure when fighting a fire, life and property are in jeopardy. Good job Joe.
The "What Can Smoke Tell Us" class allows Firefighters to identify what is burning, where it is burning, and the dangers to expect during the initial attack. Too many lives are lost each year due to the lack of knowledge of what is really happening inside a burning structure. As usual, only the highlights are covered on the "Training Page", so you can only imagine what your firefighters going through on and off the fire scene. The Brazoria - Fort Bend Counties Instructor's Association arrange and conduct several schools, seminars, and training opportunities throughout the year. No one is perfect, but your Firefighters are doing their best to see to it that they have every advantage possible when it comes to protecting you and your property.
Vincent Dunn Training Seminar
Firefighting Strategy & Tactics,,,
October 20, 2007 -- Assistant Chief - Stan Wiggins and Firefighter - Jaymi Wiggins attended the Vincent Dunn Training Seminar held in Webster, Texas. Vincent Dunn is a retired 41 year veteran Deputy Chief for the New York Fire Department. Deputy Chief Dunn shares a plethora of tactics, strategies, and knowledge including Offensive and Defensive firefighting, fire size-up, hose line positioning, aerial and ground-ladder placement, interior and exterior fire spread problems, ventilation principles, search and rescue techniques, collapse-flashover-explosion dangers, and most important - safety and survival on the fire ground. Each of these topics were applied to occupancies such as Private Dwellings, Strip Store Structures, Row Dwellings (town houses), Garden Type Dwellings, Heavy Timber Structures (older houses), Wood Triple Decker Dwellings, and High Rise Structures. Each of these topics were discussed in detail and the vast array of department Chiefs, Assistant Chiefs, Firefighters, Emergency Medical Technicians and Law Enforcement Officers were interactive in the discussion and the opportunity for each branch of emergency response to have discussions between themselves during breaks provided a much needed breath of fresh air to know we are all serving for the greater cause. Sometimes that is forgotten due to the personal, department, and branch responsibilities we face each day. How refreshing to know they all serve and sacrifice for our greater good.
Water Transfer Training
ISO (International Standards Organization) Required Training...
October 23, 2007 -- The Columbia Lakes Fire Department held a business meeting followed by training on "Water Transfer", which is an area of opportunity to lower the department ISO Rating that can reduce the local homeowner's annual insurance premiums. Training Officer and Assistant Chief Stan Wiggins prepared the training and was very pleased to see the end results producing a 750 gallon water transfer in 1 minute and 24 second time. The process requires the fire truck to come to a complete stop in front of a dump tank after traveling 100 feet - the firefighters must exit the fire truck, open the outlets, activate the correct switches and pumps, discharge the 750 gallons of water into the dump/holding tank, shut off the pumps and switches, load back onto the fire truck and travel an additional 100 feet to complete the recorded time. Some would say it looked like the most organized and effective Chinese Fire Drill they have ever seen. If you were watching I'm sure you could not tell what they were doing, but in the end you knew they came, they did, and they were gone before you knew it. The 750 gallon water dump tank makes a great pool to cool off in. Just kidding. Good job guys.
Pump Ops, Hose Handling and Nozzle Practice
Columbia Lakes Fire Department Training...
October 2007 -- Chief - Gerald "Jerry" Schmitt, Jr., Assistant Chief - Stan Wiggins conducted training on Apparatus Pump Operations, Hose Handling, and Fire Water Nozzle Practice for Firefighter - Jaymi Wiggins, and Firefighter - Joe Kovar. Joe and Jaymi received plenty of hands-on training and practice during the monthly training session. "it's a constant growth process for all of us. As members we get to know how each other thinks and performs, as well as see what areas we can improve on.", Stan explained. "Of course our ultimate goal is to reach the point individually that any one of us can take charge of a scene and implement the necessary tactics and procedure to get the job done and go home in the same condition we arrived in. Each of our members are putting forth a big effort to make their individual contribution to the department. I'm proud to be associated with each one of them.", Stan added.
For More Information Contact:
COLUMBIA LAKES VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT
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COLUMBIA LAKES VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT