1. #1
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    MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
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    Default Fire fighters use simulator to learn lifesaving methods

    I found this in the Denver news....

    Fire fighters use simulator to learn lifesaving methods

    By: GREG WILKERSON, Staff Writer March 01, 2004

    Photo by Curt Habraken

    Firefighter Bill McMahan demonstrates a head first escape that would be used in the case of fire coming out of a window.

    SEVIERVILLE - On Sept. 28, 1992, a member of the Denver Fire Department passed out trying to escape from a burning building. Though he fell right in front of a window, his fellow firefighters were unable to rescue him after 40 minutes of trying.

    That fatal incident prompted fire departments around the nation to be better prepared to save one of their own when a fire fighter is trapped in a dangerous situation.

    The Sevier County Fire Chiefs Association has worked over the last two years to train the fire fighters in the county on lifesaving methods, which are derived from actual incidents when a person was killed or seriously injured in a fire.

    The latest endeavor of the group is a newly constructed, two-story simulator built near the Sevierville Fire Department downtown. The structure gives the fire fighters an opportunity to train with scenarios that have cost lives in the past, so others may live in the future.

    "We got super interested here locally after the fire fighter died in Jefferson City," said Sevierville Fire Chief Mike Rawlings.

    That incident occurred March 1, 2002. Following that fatality, Sevierville fire fighter Lynn Rawlings went to Baltimore for five days to receive training through the class "Fire Fighter Safety and Survival." He brought those lessons back to Sevier County and has shared the knowledge with other fire departments around the state, including Union County, which has already used methods learned here to save the life of a fire fighter who fell through a floor.

    "We have one success story," Chief Rawlings said.

    For two years the department used the old abandoned furniture store in downtown Sevierville to train, but when that building became unavailable, the new tower was built. It is used to train a "Rapid Intervention Team," which is made up of fire fighters from the various departments in the county. It is estimated that it takes 12 fire fighters to save one who is in trouble, which requires a joint effort from all the departments in the county.

    "It's not just a walk on and do it," Rawlings said. "If you're not trained, you can't do it."

    The tower is designed to simulate various escapes. Fire fighters can train on how to help those who have fallen through the floor, like what happened to some Pittsburgh fire fighters a few years ago, or other escapes from second or first floor windows and small spaces. There's also the Denver Drill.

    The Denver fire fighter who died while others were trying to rescue him had crawled into a narrow space between filing cabinets. He managed to break out a window before passing out on the floor. Other fire fighters immediately saw the situation and began trying to free the man but to no avail. The combined weight of his gear, body and water-soaked clothes made him very heavy, plus the tight situation he was in. The space was only 28 inches wide, and the window was 20 inches wide and 42 inches off the ground, the same dimensions now present at the two-story simulator in Sevierville.

    Other fire fighters tried for 40 minutes to extract the man from the building, which eventually injured some of the rescue workers.

    Today, under the same conditions in a training atmosphere, fire fighters use new techniques and have the victim out in less than 20 seconds.

    "Because of this fatality in the Denver Fire Department, we have this technique," Lynn Rawlings said.


    ŠThe Mountain Press 2004
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  2. #2
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    Dec 2003


    The 20 Second record was made by our own Bob Miller (thnozzleman)in this years RIT class. I'm surprised our poor little simulator survived.

    Lynn Rawlings that taught the class is an excellent instructor and has developed an amazing class. He and his team (Andy Latham included) are really changing things in our area.

    everyone stay safe,

    Jesse Merritt
    Jefferson City Fire

  3. #3
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    Jun 2002
    Jefferson City, TN


    How the heck did I miss this one??

  4. #4
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    Dec 2003
    Jefferson City, TN


    Lynn Rawlings that taught the class is an excellent instructor and has developed an amazing class. He and his team (Andy Latham included) are really changing things in our area.
    Not to mention the fact that Lt. Rawlings also structured the class as to have it recognized and taught by the State Fire Academy.
    Much appreciation extended from the East TN region for his work and dedication.

    Noz....you can quit showing off at anytime now....
    Scott Maples

    If you're always talking, you're never listening...if you're not listening, you're not learning.

  5. #5
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    firenresq77's Avatar
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    Oct 2000
    Northwest Ohio


    We made our own little simulator for this drill. Also made one for breaching walls and passing in between the studs.......... They both work really well for us........

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