Local first responders training prepares rescuers for any emergency

Local News

BYRON, Ill. (WTVO) — Some of Stateline’s first responders spent their weekend gaining new skills for emergency scenes.

25 firefighters took part in a two day, sixteen hour heavy rescue class at the Byron Fire Protection District.

“The reason we did the class is because what’s unique to Byron is that we have a lot of extrication’s that could involve manufacturing,” said Fire Chief Phil DeMik. “You have agricultural accidents as well as automobile accidents.”

Firefighters were put into situations that could occur in factories or on farms.

One station, called the “meat grinder”, simulated extrications involving limbs.

Another station allowed participants to work on high angle rescues.

Fire crews also practiced cutting through glass, in case someone gets a hand stuck in a jar.

“We have a lot of agriculture around here, a lot of augers, a lot of different farm equipment,” said Career Firefighter Cal Thompson. “So this type of training is ideal for us due to the fact that we might have to get somebody out of a farm accident that happened.”

The overall goal is to be prepared for anything.

“We wanted our firefighters to be more rounded and have a better cache of skills and abilities to work through these types of incidents should we get called,” said DeMik.

Despite the rainy weather, those involved say they’re encouraged by the response.

“So far, the feedback I’ve gotten from all the students has been very positive,” said DeMik. “Even some veterans, 25-year veterans, have really found some great takeaways from it too. It’s been really good.”

Firefighters say the class has been very beneficial, and organizers are thinking about offering the course again next fall.

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