New training program for the VFD - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New training program for the VFD

December 15, 2006

Valdosta - Heights don't scare these guys. In fact, dangling two stories above the ground is part of the job description.  "What we did today, we rigged what we call a high line to remove a victim from a higher point where its not feasible to use just a vertical rope system," says Lt. Brian Boutwell. 

But this is a relatively new one for the Valdosta Fire Department, as they begin a new training regiment.  "Everyone in the area will have to have training in trench rescue, confined space, high angle and urban search and rescue. You're looking at 75 people getting almost 300 hours of training," says Capt. Ken Gallagher.

The training is part of a one million dollar homeland security grant, received by the department to help train firefighters in South Georgia to respond to a terror attack.  "We will be enlisting other fire departments in Southwest, Georgia. Albany, Tifton, Thomasville, Moultrie," he adds.

Although most the training equipment doesn't arrive until next fall, Valdosta firefighters are getting a jump start with this high angel training.

When the equipment arrives and neighboring departments are trained, "We'll go anywhere in the state we're called. And if there's a terrorism incident, we could conceivably go anywhere in the nation."

Until then, the Valdosta Firefighters will continue to practice high angle rescues at least once a month.