Basic training builds a good foundation

GFD works to improve service every day.

This winter, Graafschap Firefighters spent their Saturdays drafting and pumping in the station. This was a review for many of the crew, but for some newer people this was their first time operating the fire engine.

Sgt. DeJonge and FF Lovell work together to set up a drafting operation

Senior officers oversaw the evolutions for the first few sessions, then duty crews were able to set up the truck and pump by themselves. This simulates a real-life scenario where the officer is away from the truck to size-up the scene to evaluate what resources will be needed to contain the emergency.

The driver/pump operator is responsible for getting the crew to the scene safely, engaging the pump, securing a water supply, helping to stretch the fire attack lines, place ground ladders, scene lighting, and eventually ventilation. It is a position that requires skill, confidence, and dedication to the job of Engine Operator.

Sgt. DeJonge prepares to draft water from the dump tank to Engine 712

Now that the cold weather has come to an end, crews were able to flow water outside in a more complex scenario. This past Monday evening, the basic skill sets that were reviewed this winter were expanded to incorporate the tanker truck and a fire hydrant for re-filling. Personnel were rotated to different trucks and assignments to give most of the pump operators a chance to perform in these real-time scenarios. Firefighters that are not pump operators pulled fire attack lines, operated the hydrant, and assisted in other areas.

Capt. Dykstra instructs how to “Dress” a hydrant.

The next few months will be spent increasing the complexity of these evolutions. By fall, we will add live fire to the evolutions at the multi-department Live Fire Training Facility in Saugatuck. Check back for more training updates.

FF Hallam operates a ground monitor nozzle

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