Hands-on Training Filling Up for Firehouse Expo

There are a limited number of opening for select hands-on training programs at Firehouse Expo in Baltimore in late July.


With just a few weeks until Firehouse Expo in Baltimore, a few spots remain for select hands-on training programs.

This year's eight-hour hands-on training programs include two new sessions and some that are back by popular demand. The show runs from July 23 - 27 in Baltimore.

Each year, Firehouse's University of Extrication author Ron Moore brings top extrication tactics and skills to Baltimore.

This year, he is leading an all-new "School Bus Extrication" program. Moore estimates that two million students ride school buses daily in the U.S.

"The reality is, when dealing with a school crash, you don't want the extrication work to be the challenge to firefighters," Moore said. "The emotional strain that comes with the multiple casualty incident and children being involved is where we should focus our efforts. We need to be comfortable with our rescue skills beforehand."

The eight-hour program will explore the anatomy of the buses and focus on vehicle stabilization, extrication techniques and avoiding the common pitfalls that firefighter may have when comparing passenger vehicle with school buses.

"Machinery Extrication," led by veteran FDNY Lieutenant Mark Gregory, is a a new and unique hands-on training program that helps firefighters overcome a myriad of specialized rescue challenges.

Gregory and his team of instructors from Miami, Baltimore, Worcester, Mass., and New York have created props based on a number of real-life incidents that these veterans have encountered.

From skills to remove rings on fingers to dismantling devices used by protesters, attendees will learn how to extract a hand or limb from a machine and deal with traumatic crush syndrome.

"We've had students contact us after a class who have literally used these skills a day after we worked with them," Gregory said. "These are the incident that people don't think about, but we want to make sure they can do they job when they are called."

At last year's conference, FDNY Capt. Robert Morris and Billy Leach, of Big Rig Rescue, led "Heavy Rescue For Heavy Vehicles."

Using a cement truck, a tractor-trailer, large slabs and a number of other props participants will learn about lifting stabilizing and lifting heavy vehicles.

"Students will have the opportunity to learn about struts, grip hoists and chains and how to maximize the equipment they have," Leach said. "They will gain an understanding of when it is time to to call for additional equipment depending on the situation."

Attendees will see a live demonstration of chain failure due to extreme stress loads.

Retired FDNY Captain Mike Dugan will lead the popular "Truck Company Tactics, Tools and Tips" program using vacant rowhouses in Baltimore for enhanced realistic training.

"This class helps firefighters, both veterans and rookies, get the most out of the truck company," said Firehouse Expo Conference Director Harvey Eisner. "Each year, students say they've walked away from this class with a whole new level of understanding of basic and advanced truck company skills."

In the "Forcible Entry" program, FDNY Capt. Rex Morris uses proven methods to show how crews can force entry to dozens of building security and locking systems.

You can learn more about the hands-on programs and register at: FirehouseExpo.com.