Waco firefighters train for non-vehicular entrapments - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Waco firefighters train for non-vehicular entrapments

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)

The Waco Fire Department wants to make sure their firefighters are trained for any situation.

On Wednesday, firefighters from five different Waco fire stations learned how to use simple objects to get people to safety.

"Taking some household equipment and being able to perform an extraction as small as weed eater string, that's pretty spectacular in itself," Lt. John Fogle with the Waco Fire Department said.

Fogle has worked for the department for 13 years but said the training is a good refresher.

"We get caught up in the day to day with what we're doing and we need to make sure we stay well grounded for what we're doing," Fogle said. 

The full day class entitled "Man vs. Machine" was taught by instructors from P.L. Vulcan Fire Training Concepts.

George Krant, an instructor for P.L. Vulcan Fire Training Concepts, has worked in New York as a police officer for 24 years and a firefighter for 30 years.

"We have to be up with the times," Krant said. "Building material change. Building construction changes. Products change whether it be wood and now they're plastic. So we need to know what the construction of buildings and equipment and those things are so we can find the tools that can defeat them."

Firefighters learned different techniques and learned how to used different cutting tools to remove any limbs or people in an emergency situation. The firefighters learned how to remove a hand from a meat grinder, using raw chicken in place of a hand for training purposes. They also learned how to remove limbs or people from playground swings, fence impalements, rings stuck on fingers and car entrapments. 

"I can't really stress how important it is to actually get out and use the tools," Waco Fire Department Training Chief Robby Bergerson, said. "Having tools in your hand doing it is a lot different than just talking about the scenarios at the kitchen table. You may learn a lot about strategically how you may approach a certain rescue but actually spending the time using the tools, seeing how they will react against different metals and such is really critical."

For the firefighters, it's also about confidence-building.

"Whenever we're confident with what we're doing then we approach something with a steady state of calmness that instills a level of confidence from the person we're trying to save. And that makes everything else better," Fogle said. 

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