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Village Vision News

Trench rescue training for local firefighters

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Illinois Fire Service Institute’s 40-hour trench technician class was recently taught here in Forsyth. The class was taught over two weekends beginning with classes on Sept. 19, 20 and 21 and then completed Oct. 4-5.
The Hickory Point Fire Protection District sponsored the event and had eight of its members participate in the class, according to Fire Chief Dennis Downey.

There are three levels of training: awareness, operations and technician, with the technician level being the most dangerous type of a trench rescue, Downey said. He added that participants in the class had all previously qualified for the first two levels — awareness and operations — and are now qualified at the technician level.

Vacant village property along Shafer Street made for a good classroom. L trenches and T trenches were dug, as were deep linear trenches. The class, made up of participants from Decatur, Springfield, Clinton, Danville, Belvidere, Carbondale and Normal, learned how to safely shore and remove entrapped victims.

As a result of Forsyth’s growth and expansion, which has involved a lot of construction, water and sewer projects over the last 15 years, Hickory Point FPD has trench rescue equipment, Downey said.

Mike Schwarze dug the trenches for the class, and Bodine Environmental assisted with the use of a vac truck. State grant money paid for the class for technical teams, Downey said.

Downey described the training as “very positive and very effective,” and he thanked the village for the use of the vacant property.

Illinois Fire Service Institute
based in Champaign, offers trench-rescue classes that prepare first responders to safely perform rescues in a variety of below-ground problems. Special emphasis on rescuer and victim safety.

  • Awareness level
  • Operations level
  • Technician level

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