A live fire training exercise was conducted at the new facility in Panaca on Saturday. Panaca Fire Chief and Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee reported both Pioche and Panaca fire departments and EMTs were all there, about 15 total.
“The EMT’s were there and were taking vital signs of the firefighters before they went in and when they came out,” he said.
The training session, conducted by Beau Carlson, first involved about an hour of classroom and safety instruction “dealing with advancing the hose, entry, dealing with heavy smoke, heat, putting out the fire, etc.”
County Emergency Management Director and Lincoln County Fire District Chief Rick Stever said Carlson was very instrumental in designing and building the training facility.
Lee explained a fire was set in the building and, “We had teams of two, one to go in and one to serve as backup in case there was trouble, it’s what we call “Two in, two out.” The backup group is called the Rapid Intervention Team. They are stationed outside the front door in case something happens to the two that are inside putting out the fire. Then we would rotate with another crew on the outside. We probably lit eight fires to run through, in different ways, in different rooms. We also had different ways the teams had to enter and advance on the fire and smoke conditions. Then the EMTs would take vital signs as each team came out.”
Stever said the fires did create a lot of smoke and probably people driving on Main Street wondered what was going on.
He and Lee both agreed “the whole exercise was excellent training.” The Panaca Fire Department provided lunch for all involved afterwards.
“It was excellent, excellent training,” Lee said, “and we held a quick debriefing afterwards, then did the cleanup work.
Others also said it was excellent training, to be able to have a place get some live fire experience with the local fire departments getting together and working together. Lee said, “We’re happy that we don’t have a lot of structure fires, but then again we don’t get to train in live fire situations very often.”
Hopes are to be able to schedule a couple of live fire trainings through the year to involve other departments, even some from other counties. Lee said, “I think it is going to be money well spent on that training facility.”