BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – The Bridgeport Fire Department sponsored a fire fighter expo that will provide hands on training at two acquired structures within the city.
This evening the fire fighters gathered at Meagher’s Irish Pub to register for the classes and the receive a lecture called “Performance Under Pressure.” Training officials said the lecture provides the attendees with a model in conducting reality-based training from the basic recruit to the incident commander.
“What we do is primary search, which is victim search and rescue; hose management, which is managing the hose line from the fire engine to the door to the scene of the fire. We do different searches which is called ‘vent of a search’ that we do targeted through windows,” said Robert Blasetti, Training Manager and Instructor with Interstate Rescue. “And we have a saving your own, a dominating the fire ground where the fire fighter survival part if they get into trouble here is the skills to get yourself out and to maintain mental cognition while you are doing it.”
Hands-on training will be held May 1 and May 2 at the Bridgeport Fire Department, with both days of instruction offering 16-hours of training each day for the fire fighters. Day one of hands-on training will be about dominating the fire ground; day two will provide training on first alarm company operations.
“Tactical 360 it is what inside training. They partner with Interstate Rescue to provide this. What that does, the thermal imager is what it is, it’s a thermal imager. We can’t see through the building, but we can see heat signatures in the building to let us know where that fire could be. Which in turn gets us in there quicker to put the fire out,” Blasetti said.
Officials also said, the objective is to have students leave the training ground with confidence and an understanding of what it takes mentally and physically to stay alive and to never give up. Each participant is taken through a rapid progression of skill stations: forcible entry, wire entanglement and drywall breach.
Instructors said short staffed, combination and volunteer departments expect their members to do multiple functions on the fire ground. Insight Fire training provides training programs that combines what they call The Big Four: stretching the first attack line, forcible entry, quick mask and primary search. They also added these are the most important task the first arriving companies need to perform flawlessly.
“We are very appreciative of the citizens that pay the tax dollars to get us this equipment, but it’s for them, but we have to be able to train with the high-end equipment and learn how to use it as we are also learning the basic skills and how does it interpenetrate together,” Blasetti said.
The Gary Sinise Foundation sponsored the classes and paid the tuition for the fire fighters.