Trench Rescue Training:
In the summer of 2002, The Stow Fire Department and the Stow Service Department held a week long trench rescue training. This annual training aids both departments in the event of a trench collapse with workers trapped under heavy soil.
Controlled House Burn:
At different times, the fire department stages a live training exercise at a home slated for demolition. This enables firefighters to sharpen their skills on search and rescue, rapid intervention and fire extinguishment. Firefighters are used to training in concrete structures, built especially for fire training. While a concrete building is very beneficial, nothing beats training on an actual house.
Ice Rescue Training:
During the intense two-day course, firefighters learned about ice formation and ice safety, how to treat hypothermic patients and cold water drowning victims, and a variety of techniques for rescuing victims from icy water. To culminate the training, rescuers took to the water to practice the techniques they learned in the classroom. A variety of rescue techniques were exercised and firefighters practiced numerous rescue scenarios. Hopefully, these lifesaving skills will never need to be put to the test. Every firefighter receives this training. Each serves as a victim and a rescuer.
The rescuer crawls out on the ice very carefully. When they get close to the victim they begin to roll in order to keep the rope straight and to maintain distance from the victim. The rescuer will enter the water behind the victim and pull the rope in front and then around the victim.
When the rescuer and rope are in place, they signal for the team on the shore to pull on the rope. The rescuer will give the victim a boost up and out of the water. The team on the shore will continue to pull both to safety.
Each year many children and adults lose their lives when they fall through thin ice. The water is so cold that hypothermia will set in very quickly. Do not attempt to rescue anyone by walking out to the victim. Also, DO NOT attempt to save animals. Have someone throw something to the victim and call 9-1-1.
If possible, have a bystander keep watching the victim at all times. Try to get a landmark on the opposite shore from where you are standing. This will help rescuers locate the victim quicker.
There are no absolutes when dealing with ice safety. Remember, NO ICE IS SAFE! The ice on a body of water can vary in depth and stability. Unseen underwater springs, currents, snow, wind and/or sun can weaken ice in spots.