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Twenty-five firefighters from across Northeast Missouri came to Clark County over the weekend of October 15-17, to participate in Heavy Vehicle Rescue Training, hosted by the Clark County Fire Corporation and sponsored by the Division of Fire Safety (DFS) and conducted by three instructors from the University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute (MUFRTI). The training focused on safely securing large vehicles involved in wrecks in a process using struts and cribbing, as well as techniques involving rescue from large vehicles, and collisions involving passenger vehicles and commercial trucks. The training included a half-day of classroom training as well as two 4-hour sessions of hands-on training. Due to the significant support needed to host a class such as this, the Clark County Fire Corp’s class was supported from multiple local businesses and outside visitors. Trump Trucks supported the training by providing the delivery and clean-up of two, scene semi-tractors, semi-trailers and three passenger vehicles for rescuers to work on and Brewer and Son’s towing supported the set-up of the training grounds and meeting with first responders about how they can best work alongside each other at an accident. Also supporting the training from out of the Clark County area were Newberry’s Towing from Keokuk Iowa, supporting the set-up and safety of the work area and Missouri Rescue Equipment Vendor, Alex Air, who provided much needed support tools with struts, straps, chains and more.
Firefighters represented 11 departments from across northeastern Missouri including Clark County’s own Kahoka Fire, Revere Fire, Wayland Fire, Alexandria Fire, Clark County Fire and Clark County Rescue, as well as members from Lancaster Fire & Rescue, Newark Fire, Gorin Fire, LaBelle Fire, and Western Lewis Fire.
The classroom portion of the weekend was an eye-opening study not only to hazards of large vehicle rescue, but also into the monumental need for resources and personnel to protect the patient, fellow responders, and bystanders. The number of struts and rigging required to stabilize and semi-truck varies, depending on the weight of the semi-tractor and/or the trailer. With some vehicles, 10 struts, hooks and straps may be needed to secure a vehicle so rescue personnel can access the occupants in the cab, or even occupants in an adjoining vehicle. Despite having 11 fire departments present, three with their rescue tools on hand, equipment had to have been borrowed from the supporting agencies to conduct operations. While the volunteer firefighters have the heart and dedication to serve, and training is being hosted and attended, the lack of some equipment is sobering to responders. With the expertise of the equipment vendor and the instructors, participants learned improvised means of strutting and cribbing vehicles, working with local tow companies to overcome these deficiencies, knowing they will have to rely on donations and grants in order to further equip their respective departments with safety equipment.
The Clark County Fire Corporation and the participating departments wish to thank Trump Trucks for the vehicles, and support; To Brewer and Son’s Towing for their support and expertise; To Newberry’s Towing for their assistance and use of Heavy Rescues, to TNT Contractors for a great training location and to Disaster Prep Solutions for Saturday’s lunch.