Training is a daily exercise for Defiance Fire Department | Local News

Training is a daily task at the Defiance Fire Department. Every day of the year, firefighters, paramedics, and paramedics participate in some form of training to maintain individual certifications and be prepared for any situation.

Recently The Crescent News sat down at the fire station to speak with the two training firefighters, Lt. Brandon Case, a 14-year-old veteran, and Captain Kenton McQuillen, a 22-year-old veteran, to talk training.

“Basically, every day, every shift, the city’s firefighters go through training,” McQuillen said. “Whether it’s talking about different scenarios, discussing tactics, or doing hands-on training, every time we’re here at the station there’s a learning going on.”

Case added: “Every individual at this station is trained to the same level. We want everyone to be able to respond to any given situation as a highly skilled individual. Continuing education is important to maintain annual certification in Ohio State. »

So what kind of training does the Defiance Fire Department offer?

Every person who walks through the doors of the station with the intention of becoming a firefighter goes through the same basic training. This person will attend eight weeks of training at the Ohio Fire Academy in Reynoldsburg.

“When someone comes in with no experience, they can expect to spend 240 hours training at the academy. After that, they’ll come back for a break and then go to EMT school,” McQuillen said.

“Every firefighter has to train for EMT and paramedics at this station,” Case added, “so they’ll get those two trainings immediately, and then a year of school and clinic for paramedic training.”

Both fire and EMT training sessions take place in Reynoldsburg and provide the required foundation for firefighting and rescue techniques.

“You can expect any firefighter or paramedic from the Defiance Fire Department to be trained in the same basic skills required.”

Once the basics have been acquired, all firefighters continue their learning with daily specialized sessions. Firefighters on duty must participate in daily demonstrations of equipment.

“We are planning training with the pullers, chainsaws and other smaller equipment as well as heavier equipment,” McQuillen said.

Training also takes place in houses located in flood plains and sold to the city. In recent years, homes near Kingsbury Park have been sold and bulldozed using Federal Emergency Management Act (FEMA) money. According to the two firefighters, some of these houses were used for training exercises.

Says Case: “There is a process that a homeowner goes through to sell a house to the city. Once this process is complete, and before the building is razed, the city allows us to use the building for training exercises.

“We can do things like smoke training, fire attack training, search and rescue, ventilation techniques, firefighter rescue and officer development,” McQuillen added. “Buildings are really useful for us to use.”

Recently, firefighters were able to use the now razed buildings on Clinton Street, right next to River’s Edge Bar and Grille (formerly Spanky’s), and a house on Riverside Avenue.

“Because of EPA regulations, the costs of gutting and burning a building would be prohibitive. Even if we don’t burn the buildings, we can do a lot of important training,” Case said.

During training exercises, the fire departments of Noble Township, Highland Township and South Richland Township also participate.

Said Case: “These three fire departments are on automatic mutual aid with us, so we invite them to make sure that we all train in the same way. Although all firefighters have the same basic training, there may be certain techniques, or different ways of organizing during a fire, that we want everyone to be able to work together effectively.

McQuillen added: “We want to make sure that we all do the same type of stage size, tactics and that we have the same responsibility. When you’re in a critical situation, it’s good to know that we all understand each other and can respond as one unit. »

“Fundamentally, we also want to mitigate security issues in a given situation,” Case said. “It’s the reps and the muscle memory, so it becomes second nature because seconds matter.”

Although the use of buildings is more realistic, when abandoned buildings are not available, the department has a training center near the Defiance composting site.

As you can imagine, driving is also an important part of the training.

“It can be a challenge to drive one of the trucks,” McQuillen said, “so we do training in the mall parking lot, where cones are set up for maneuverability. We also assign driving time to trips emergency.

So where does paramedic training take place? Locally, there are schools and hospitals that offer the training.

Says Case, “We sent interns to Four County, Mercy Toledo and Rhodes College, to name a few. There, they attend weekly classes for a year and attend clinics, where they receive hands-on training in IV and medication administration, cardiac care, and emergency techniques.

“Clinics are held in our ER, Psychiatric Units, OB Units and Firehouse Rescue,” McQuillen added.

Even with all the training and technical advancements, there can still be challenges for firefighters.

Asked about advancements in technology, Case said: “There are a lot of advancements in equipment. For example, we just received new SCBAs (self-contained breathing apparatus) that contain thermal imaging devices. It makes our job easier. »

So firefighting isn’t what we see on TV shows?

“If you were doing a reality-based show, it would be a black screen,” Case said. “A lot of what we see as firefighters is darkness from the smoke and a faint glow when we see the fire. I get why (these shows) show all they do is entertainment, but it’s not reality.

Both firefighters agreed that some of the best firefighting training starts at home.

Saïd Case: “A recent national campaign is ‘closed before sleeping’. It is important to close bedroom doors when you sleep so that house fires are contained.

“We also remind people to have working smoke detectors and to change the batteries every six months,” McQuillen said.

Anyone interested in becoming a firefighter, contact the Defiance Fire Department at 419-782-2771 for more information.