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— Firefighters from the Decatur, Gravette and Maysville Fire Departments met in Decatur to train with AirEvac on July 21.

This is the second time this summer the air ambulance company has held a training session with local fire departments in Decatur.

ÃItÃ-s great; my guys love it,î fire chief David Flynt said.

During the first training session in May, 37 area firefighters trained with 10 instructors from AirEvac.

On July 21, AirEvac paramedic Earl Blake lectured in the class room on head and heat related injuries before taking the firefighters outside for hands-on training.

Blake set up a training scenario where a car was found against a telephone pole with the driver inside, a pedestrian underneath and a baby that had been thrown from the pedestrianÃ-s arms into the nearby bushes.

Two firefighters volunteered to act as the accident victims, and Blake made the scene as realistic as possible by painting on injuries and putting smoke bombs underneath the car to simulate a vehicle fire, Flynt said.

Blake even created a puzzle for the firefighters ó the driver had an orange with a bite out of it in his hand. In the scenario firefighters had to figure out that the driver was a diabetic with low blood sugar who was trying to take a bite out of the orange when he ran off the road hitting the pedestrian and the telephone pole.

Firefighters practiced everything they would do at a real accident scene, from stopping traffic and creating a landing space for an air ambulance, to extracting the victims from inside and underneath the car and treating injuries.

Even though it was hot, the firemen practiced in full bunker gear. They got out the jaws ofprepared the fire hoses for use just as they would if the car was really on fire with someone

trapped inside.

Flynt training provides a place where firefighters can learn and if they mess up, itÃ-s OK.

He said it also helps to train with the Maysville and Gravette fire departments since they often work side-by-side with the Decatur Fire Department.

ÃAnytime we can get together with communities we work with, itÃ-s a good thing ... ItÃ-s with people we work with daily on runs,î he said.

The next training session is planned for September and AirEvac plans to continue holding training sessions at the Decatur Fire Department on a regular basis, Flynt said.

Community, Pages 3 on 08/05/2009

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