White Rock firefighters are better prepared than ever to rescue people from emergencies, thanks to a recent donation from the White Rock Rotary Club.
Late in 2021, White Rock Fire-Rescue received a donation of $14,848 from the club to purchase training equipment.
Last Wednesday (April 27), firefighters demonstrated for members of the club, and representatives from White Rock council, the new acquisitions – a forcible entry training aid and a rescue mannequin dubbed ‘Rescue Randy.’
The training aid simulates a locked metal door – similar to those found in many commercial buildings – which allows firefighters to practise using tools to make a fast and efficient forced entry under fire conditions.
Rescue Randy, on the other hand, is a human-like figure weighing in at some 185 pounds – allowing firefighters the chance to practice best methods for carrying the dead weight of an unconscious victim from a fire scene.
Club president Gordy Sangha, and members Ed Church and George Garrett – along with Mayor Darryl Walker, Coun. Anthony Manning, Fire Chief Ed Wolfe and Deputy Fire Chief Norm MacLeod – watched as a team of firefighters in full emergency gear pulled a fire truck up behind the firehall, quickly connected a hose and deployed as they would in a real fire situation.
Approaching the training door, they quickly sized it up and used tools to pry it open, moved at floor level to find ‘Randy’ several yards behind it, then – still close to the ground – dragged the mannequin swiftly through the door.
The whole operation lasted barely a couple of minutes – but in a real conflagration, fast, efficient action can mean the difference between life and death.
Seven-year firefighter Mike Armstrong explained that firefighters must be able to size up each door quickly with a couple of bangs from the entry tools to locate deadbolts and any bars or four-by-fours wedged across it.
He added that the best practice is to keep such doors closed between co-ordinated entering and exiting “so you don’t get oxygen into the fire.”
“I’m so pleased to be part of a community that can work together,” said Walker, commending both the initiative of the club and the ongoing work of White Rock Fire-Rescue.
“You guys do a phenomenal job,” Sangha said, “For us, we feel our homes and families are safe.”