By: Battalion Chief Bill Betz
Battalion 401, B-Shift
Recently, units from the First Battalion on B-Shift participated in training at the Pinecrest Swim and Tennis Club in Herndon. Personnel completed various activities as part of the training geared towards self-survival and victim water rescue.
All personnel swam two laps of the pool giving unit officers the ability to evaluate the swimming skills of each member. This is valuable information to have ahead of being called to a water related emergency as the officer now knows who their strong swimmers are and who to place in the water for victim rescue.
Personnel then participated in backboard training with the lifeguard staff from the pool. They learned the actions lifeguards take to secure a victim to a backboard when they are suspected of a spinal injury from a pool mishap.
Finally, personnel donned structural firefighting gear and walked off the pools edge into the water to feel the impact of falling into water while wearing the protective clothing. Firefighters conduct a variety of tasks inside and outside a structure while operating at a house fire and many of the residences have swimming pools. A firefighter falling into the water with gear on poses a significant safety concern due to the added weight as the gear tends to pull firefighters under the water. The training today was conducted to provide firefighters with techniques on how to react and exit a pool should they face this situation while operating on an incident scene.
Thank you to the staff at Pinecrest Swim and Tennis Club for hosting, and participating in, the training!