Skills training keeps PXFD on track

  • Posted: Wednesday, January 26, 2022, 1:58 pm

Firefighters practicing victim extraction

Every second counts when someone is trapped in a vehicle, and the Pantex Fire Department trains to be prepared to respond to accidents at a moment’s notice.

Pantex Fire Department participates in extrication training annually to give firefighters an opportunity to learn new techniques they will use in real life situations and train with equipment. While extrication equipment is used several times a year by the Pantex Fire Department on the highways and roads that surround the plant, these trainings allow them to get experience with equipment not used every day.

“The new techniques are necessary because of the constant improvements in vehicle construction and engineering,” Jeremy Baker, Pantex Fire Department captain, said. “These changes improve the safety of occupants, but make extrication more challenging for firefighters. We design our scenarios to challenge firefighters, providing them with opportunities to utilize critical decision-making strategies that are required in real life situations.”

From time to time, Pantex also partners with neighboring fire departments for trainings.

“We’ve trained with Claude and Washburn fire departments, which are mutual aid partners,” Baker said. “By working with these departments, it allows us to work together as one cohesive group on actual emergency scenes.”

During their most recent training, firefighters were instructed on numerous scenarios that allowed them to use their critical thinking, knowledge, and expertise to remove victims involved in difficult extractions that would challenge even the most experienced firefighters. The scenarios covered the use of new stabilization equipment, medical knowledge, lifting vehicles, and extrication techniques.