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Firefighters undergo extensive training in 2019

Multiple area fire departments took part in a unique training exercise presented by the Tonica Volunteer Fire Department on Sept. 7, 2019, when an old house was repeatedly set ablaze and extinguished for training purposes.
Multiple area fire departments took part in a unique training exercise presented by the Tonica Volunteer Fire Department on Sept. 7, 2019, when an old house was repeatedly set ablaze and extinguished for training purposes.

TONICA — The Tonica Volunteer Fire Department’s volunteers engaged in extensive fire and rescue trainings during 2019.

The many hours of trainings are conducted in order to stay proficient at the many tasks that are required to provide expert emergency services.

The topics they covered included the following:

• Annual hazardous materials awareness refresher.

• Traffic incident management and accident scene safety.

• Blood-borne pathogens, infectious diseases and incident rehab for emergency responders.

• Driver training with emergency vehicles and review of driving SOGs.

• Ladders.

• Tanker, fold-a-tank with rural water supply operations.

• Weather spotter training.

• Controlled burn (live fire using a residential structure) covering inside and outside operations.

• Pre-plan walk-through of target hazards and new businesses.

• Grain bin and confined space rescue training.

• Communications.

• SCBA drills including collapse escape drill.

• Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) SOGs, and hands-on review of RIT tasks with SCBA and tools needed for RIT team.

Some of the firefighting and operational trainings were conducted with the following Mutual Aid and Auto Aid departments: Oglesby, Cedar Point, Leonore and Peru departments.

Officer Lead Squad Trainings covered command and control, leadership, communications and organizational skills, along with the review and operation of apparatus and equipment.

Auto extrication included the use of hydraulic extrication tools to successfully complete agility and skill tests. Rescue personnel also reviewed a newer generation of extrication tools.

Because the situations that may require extrication are endless, multiple sessions covering extrication were conducted. These involved hands-on drills using various tools, on various vehicles, under various simulated accident conditions.

Focus trainings covered orientation, fire department history, firefighter safety, introduction to SCBA, (P.P.E.) Personal Protective Clothing, building construction, fire behavior, fire attack hose and nozzle, ropes, knots, rigging, and rope rescue equipment, high-pressure rescue air bags, vehicle stabilization, cribbing, supply and attack hose loads and hose rolls, hose test procedures, hose streams and specialty nozzles, city and rural water supply, deck gun master streams and ladders.

Additional training

Tonica Volunteer Fire Department members conducted fire prevention safety programs and participated in various community events during the year.

Chief Al Stremlau conducted new member orientations with Gage Hoover, Rob Hoover, Morgan Brandner, Cody Anderson and Wendy Bernabei.

Deputy Chief of Training Rick Turri attended the following trainings outside of Tonica:

• LaSalle County EMA weather related tabletop exercise at Peru Fire Station covering Carus, P.Q. and Flint Hills Emergency Plans (Peru).

• Pipeline safety program (La­­Salle).

• IFSI Fire Ground Communications (Granville).

• Naplate tornado resource review.

• Motor carrier safety class (Peru).

• IFSI pumper, tanker operations with rural water supply (Wenona).

Deputy Chief Rick Turri and Lt. Dan Francisco helped with portions of the Basic Fire Fighter Operations classes that were held at various area departments during the year.

Chief Stremlau completed a Leadership Principles for Fire Officers training at the Dalzell Fire Department.

Fire department directors, Chief/President Al Stremlau and Treasurer Sue Huss completed the annual Strategic Planning and Financial Review of TVFD operations.

NIMS training

• Cadet Firefighter Gage Hoover completed NIMS 100, 700, 800.

• Firefighters Cesar Mejia and Rob Hoover completed NIMS 100, 200, 700 and 800.

• Lt. Dan Francisco completed NIMS 144, 200 and 800.

The NIMS (National Incident Management System) Incident Command and Control structure was used by the department for various tabletop exercises and hands-on events.

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