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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Rescue training boosts firefighters' skills

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Monett Fire Department Captain Dewayne Irwin at center top practices his rope rescue skills during last weekend's 32-hour "Rope Rescue: Technician" training course held at the Southwest Area Career Center in Monett. "Overcoming a fear of heights is one thing but doing it while hanging upside down, free hand, in heavy wind, is quite another," said Shane Anderson, Monett Fire Department training officer. [Photo courtesy of training officer Shane Anderson]

Dangling upside down from a rope was one way Monett firefighters practiced their advanced rope skills last week.

There are now 17 of Monett's 23 city firemen who have completed the "Rope Rescue: Technician" course that was offered at the Southwest Area Career Center on Friday and Saturday. The 32-hour course taught students techniques on how to use ropes to rescue victims who are trapped in confined spaces or at great heights.

The training was provided by the University of Missouri at Columbia's Fire and Rescue Training Institute (MUFRTI) and funded through state fire department training money. Monett firefighters were able to attend the training without paying a tuition fee.

"MUFRTI and the Missouri Division of Fire Safety have begun to take interest in the Career Center for area training and certification testing due to its prime location between Springfield and Joplin," said Shane Anderson, Monett Fire Department training officer.

According to Anderson, the fire department has been called on numerous occasions in the past few years to perform rescues using rope skills and equipment. One of those rescues occurred last

April when The Monett Times building flooded and employees had to guided out of the area using ropes.

"Rescues of any type are normally very labor intensive," said Anderson. "With additional qualified personnel, these calls should run smoother and more efficiently."

Monett firemen were not the only ones to benefit from the training opportunity. Other area departments who attended were the Ozark Fire Protection District, Logan-Rogersville Fire Protection District and the Reddings Mill Fire Protection District.

The class was taught by instructors from the Central Jackson County Fire Protection District and the Jefferson City and Springfield fire departments. All instructors serve on regional rescue teams.

"The department really shined during this training session," said Anderson.

The Monett firemen's performance during the session exemplified the department's training motto: Don't Train Until You Get It Right, Train Until You Get It Right Every Time.

"This year is shaping up to be very exciting in the area of training," said Anderson. "We have several other exercises planned to provide realistic and challenging training experiences for the department."

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