Tonganoxie City Fire Department, Leavenworth County EMS work together for continued training

Tonganoxie City Fire Chief Jack Holcom instructs a Leavenworth County Emergency Medical Service member with fire extinguisher training earlier this month east of the Tonganoxie City Fire Station. Enlarge photo

August 9, 2016

Leavenworth County Emergency Management Service personnel can be the first to a scene when a 911 call is made.

When that situation arises in the case of a victim trapped in a burning vehicle, Leavenworth County EMS members will have more training in helping the person out of the vehicle.

County EMS and the Tonganoxie City Fire Department joined together for new fire extinguisher training.

Fire Chief Jack Holcom trained a group of EMS members last week and is training more this week just east of the Tonganoxie Fire Station.

“It just allows the EMS personnel to feel comfortable with the proper uses of the fire extinguisher in a fire scenario,” Holcom said.

EMS ambulance crews underwent training in three different shifts in three separate days, one last week and two more this week.

“We’re not teaching them to be firefighters,” Holcom said. “It’s teaching them to separate the fire from the victim.”

Ambulance crew members work on rapid removal of a subject from a burning car by using a fire extinguisher. State regulations require ambulances carry an extinguisher on board each ambulance vehicle.

While one ambulance crew member attacks the car fire with an extinguisher, the other is working to extricate the victim from the vehicle.

B&W extinguishers donated 35 fire extinguishers for the training, which Holcom said was “huge.” Extinguishers generally cost $45 each.

And, Alvy Wise Salvage Yard donated the vehicle for the training.

Jamie Miller, Leavenworth County EMS director, said state regulations require ambulances be equipped with two fire extinguishers.

All county EMS members went through the training. That meant between 40 and 50 full- and part-time EMS employees completed the training.

Miller said the training continues a “good relationship going” between medical and fire departments.

While the Holcom provided training at the Tonganoxie Fire Station for EMS, Miller offers some continuing education in medical training for firefighters. That helps those emergency officials keep up on their required training hours.

After the recent training, EMS crews will have more familiarity with their fire extinguishers and how to best use them in a certain scenario.

As Miller noted, with many county fire departments having large volunteer staffs, EMS officials sometimes can be first to an accident scene because staff members are heading directly from their stations.

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