Canton Township Firefighter Training Site for UAkron Firefighters

TWP TOWNSHIP. – Bianca Inman, a new member of the Wellington Fire Department for six months, has yet to fight a fire.

“Not one. But I’ve had a lot of car accidents,” she said Wednesday morning, standing among two dozen firefighters at the Canton Township Fire Department training center.

Following:Two firefighters were slightly injured in a house fire

Firefighters traveled from as far away as Toledo and Van Wert to participate in advanced training, courtesy of the township department and the University of Akron. The center is designed to give practicing firefighters hands-on experience in firefighting and rescue.

North Royalton Firefighter/Paramedic Joe Bates has been a firefighter for approximately 10 years.

The opportunity to practice “in an excellent training center like this is essential for us to become the best professionals we can be”.

Firefighters traveled from as far away as Toledo and Van Wert to participate in advanced training, courtesy of the Canton of Canton Fire Department and the University of Akron.  The training center is designed to give practicing firefighters hands-on experience in fighting fires and saving lives.

The problem facing firefighters in big cities, he said, is the lack of manpower.

“Cities don’t allow labor to be where it should be,” Bates said. “We have to become more and more efficient with our numbers.”

Training in how to attack a fire and how to manage less manpower at the same time in a more realistic setting makes the experience at the Canton Township facility especially valuable, he said. he declares.

Carson Drach of the Coventry Fire Department breaks down a door during fire training in Canton Township on Wednesday.

Hone their firefighting skills

“From a preparedness perspective, firefighters need fires to hone their skills,” said Rick Morabito, deputy chief of the Canton Township Fire Department. “Having realistic type training gives these firefighters exposure to what they might face in the event of a real fire.”

The joint four-day training program – Advanced Firefighter Training Days – is a first for the canton and the university. It takes place in the facility behind the Township Community Center on 38th Street SW.

Previously, the university’s firefighter training took place in Summit County, said Dennis Ragins, director of training for Akron U.

Courses covered include forcible entry and advanced search and survival techniques.

The 2021 University of Akron Fire and Hazardous Materials Training Center Advanced Fire Training Days was hosted by the Canton of Canton Fire Department.

Each participant is already a certified firefighter. They receive the continuing education credits required by the state to participate.

“We teach firefighters what they would face in real life with limited personnel, basic skills but in real-world conditions,” said Matt Claflin, Akron Fire Department lieutenant and training chief. for the university program. Claflin is also a former Uniontown and Lakemore firefighter.

Claflin said most small departments don’t have training budgets or practice locations, and most don’t regularly deal with fires.

The fires at the training center are real and under control. The site has a three-story mobile training tower secured by a grant from FEMA.

Morabito said he could be moved to any fire department in the county so firefighters could perform “high-angle rope rescues,” he said.

The training center also includes a fixed facility, modified shipping containers that contain two combustion chambers inside which Class A materials – fabric, wood, paper, rubber and many plastics – can be burned in the framework of the exercise.

Pallets stuffed with straw are set on fire, filling the chambers with smoke.

“We built a real ‘home’ out of the burned building,” Claflin said. “We set it up like a real ranch-style house with furniture and everything.”

The room contains a bathroom with toilet, bathtub and sink, a living room, a kitchen and a bedroom with toys, blankets, clothes and decorations.

“We make it as real as possible,” Claflin said, because they are typical obstacles that firefighters fighting their way through blinding, thick smoke in any burning house would have to navigate.

Rescue techniques used

The second floor of the bedroom is a simulated bedroom on the second floor, also complete with furniture and imaginary figures, or mannequins.

Each is made up of rebar, plated weights, and chains at its joints, such as the elbows and knees. Claflin said the average adult male weighs 175 pounds, so the weight had to be simulated so rescue firefighters could experience lifting and carrying someone that heavy safely.

“We have the rebar to make it look like the real weight of a real victim,” he said. “What we want to convey here is the realism of these scenarios.”

In one drill, firefighters throw a ladder down the closed second-story window and break the bar or “window frame” that runs through the middle so that firefighters carrying casualties through the burning “chamber” can put back these victims to firefighters on the ladder.

“They should break the window like they should in real life,” Claflin said.

In another exercise, mannequins were placed near the door through which firefighters enter because statistics show that is where they try to escape.

The firefighters in training were not notified.

“Some (firefighters) will walk past them,” Claflin said.

Contact Lori at 330-580-8309 or [email protected]

On Twitter: @lsteineckREP

Capt. Jon Ridgway, an instructor at the University of Akron Fire and Hazardous Materials Training Center, leads a limited-manpower drill Wednesday in Canton Township.

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