Tue | Apr 20, 2021

Hanover firefighters get ‘extrication techniques’ training

Published:Wednesday | December 2, 2020 | 12:05 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer
Members of the Hanover branch of the Jamaica Fire Brigade participate in an extrication technique exercise.
Members of the Hanover branch of the Jamaica Fire Brigade participate in an extrication technique exercise.

Western Bureau:

The Hanover branch of the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) last week participated in a three-day training seminar on extrication techniques for persons in crashed vehicles.

According to statistics on road accidents in the western parish, the fire brigade responded to 83 motor vehicle crashes calls in 2019. Of the number, there were three in November and 11 in December. To date this year, they have responded to 67 such calls. Many of the accidents in the period listed required extrication methods to rescue victims.

The Vehicle Extrication Training, which took place at the Rusea’s High School campus 1 in Lucea, had a team of facilitators led by Acting Deputy Superintendent Carlynton Beason, the JFB training officer; Acting District Officer Richard Graham; Acting Corporal Christopher Beason; Sergeant Brian Allison; and Corporal Artnell Grey. Kenisha Stennett-Dunbar, the disaster preparedness coordinator for Hanover Municipal Corporation, collaborated in the training.

The lead trainer told The Gleaner that his unit is constantly conducting service training for its personnel in the 13 divisions islandwide.

“What we do is that we look at the needs as it relates to a particular division, what type of cases are increasing, and we try to implement additional training in that area,” said Beason. “So, what we are doing now is training the firefighters in the Hanover division in the skills in motor vehicle extrication. We have observed that there is usually an increase in motor vehicle accidents as it relates to the festive season that is coming up, so we are being proactive and mitigating against these situations that may happen.”

According to Beason, the sessions conducted with the Hanover firefighters involved the latest in extrication techniques for victims inside of crashed vehicles, also specific techniques as it relates to particular models of motor vehicles. It also entails all aspects of patient care, which includes stabilisation and transportation to a medical facility.

“We have (technique) for a total side removal, a total roof removal, and a dashboard removal,” explained Beason. “The aim is to minimise the length of time it takes the fire personnel in removing a victim from a crashed vehicle to that individual receiving medical assistance.”

Sergeant Shaun Anderson, one of the 23 Hanover-based firefighters who participated in the training seminar, said he was totally enthused about the training, which was like a refresher course with the latest in extrication techniques included.

“I found it very interesting, I see where the knowledge that we had, more techniques have been added to it. From day one, we were all enthused, and even one aspect where night exercises were introduced kept our anxiety levels very high, because it showed us that emergencies can happen at any time,” said Anderson.

Westmoreland, the region’s lead parish in motor vehicle accidents, will be the next parish to be exposed to extrication training. According to Beason, his team will next move to Westmoreland, where it will be embarking on a five-day training seminar on water rescue training exercise.