Today we salute the leaders of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for thinking a bit outside of the box and offering special heavy equipment training to interested firefighters. Several volunteers have begun the training regimen and once complete they will be eligible to apply for a CDL license. While we here at the North American Heavy Equipment Training Services (NAHETS) aren’t providing this particular training, we still applaud this effort and urge other municipalities and fire departments to take similar action.
We also offer our services, (Trainer ToolKits, Train-the-Trainer Courses, and Operator Certifications), to any groups looking to implement a training program and welcome any inquiries about how we can create special training for first responders. There are many reasons why training is vitally important in case of emergency.
North Myrtle Beach officials came up with the idea to train firefighters on the equipment after this year’s winter storms. The downed power lines and fallen tree limbs from the ice storms overwhelmed the public works crews and forced many into difficult and physically demanding overtime duty.
“After about 14 hours straight, fatigue sets in, accidents start to happen, and you’re just worn out,” Robert Turner, the director of Public Works, told WMBF reporter Theo Hayes. “(Our firefighters) are going to be able to do every aspect of public works (when done with the training).”
Firefighters are being trained on a variety of heavy equipment and are even enjoying the process. Among the machinery they are being trained for are rubber tire backhoes, track hoes, loaders, dump trucks and more. “We are used to using hydraulics with our ladders so it’s similar in some aspects, but it’s different and new,” said Lt. Kyle Post during the same interview with Hayes and WMBF.
Fire Chief Tom Barstow also believes that the training will be beneficial in certain fire situations. “There are times when we need heavy equipment to either tear down a wall or move some sort of equipment out of the way and there’s a bit of a lag time because we have to put in the call and someone has to come from home, pick it up and come to the scene,” said Barstow.
This is forward thinking by North Myrtle Beach officials. We can’t wait to hear about the first life saved by this investment and other positive impact this move will have.
Click on this link to view the full story: http://www.wmbfnews.com/story/25157707/nmb-firefighters-train-to-operate-public-works-street-equipment
Image courtesy of www.wmbfnews.com.