Each month, Bend Fire and Rescue stages different special operations and rescue training sessions. On Tuesday, firefighters trained in performing confined space rescues.
Firefighters had to rescue a dummy that was trapped inside the confined space facility. The goal of the exercise was to focus on a rescue rather than a recovery. In real-life situations, firefighters have to assume anybody that is getting rescued could have injuries.
C apt. Tom Edwards said he is thankful to have the facility at the department.
” Our training facility is really special to us, ” Edwards said. “We have got so many things we can do here in the space provided, whether we are doing vehicle extraction or technical rescue, like today.”
Bend Fire had about 15 firefighters in the facility. For some of them, this was their first time experiencing the confined space training.
The department is lucky to have its own confined space facility. Two firefighters built it themselves.
” We had two of our more creative individuals on the team build the facility, ” said Battalion Chief Dave Howe. “They got together and were able to get donations of materials: giant tanks from the wastewater plant, the hopper from one of the mills and a catwalk.”
The facility was built about five years ago. Edwards was one of the two who built it. In order to build the training space, Bend Fire had to borrow the city’s crane. Edwards also had to get a crane license to be able to operate it.
Because the confined space course meets certain requirements, the department will have third-party classes at their facility.
” A paid company will come in and teach confined space. And they will bring in students from all over the world. And they will train here and our guys will go through the class with them, ” said Edwards.
Edwards said the department is looking to add an exterior staircase to the water tower in the future.