3-5-15 IMS Part I Training PDF  | Print |

3-5-15 IMS Training

On a winter like March evening, Firefighters from Company 1 assesmbled to hear Botetourt County Fire & EMS Chief Jeff Beckner give a presentation on the Incident Management System (IMS). This was the first installment of a three part series that Chief Beckner is carrying out for agencies throughout Botetourt County. The presentation provided a review of the IM system and the importance of understanding roles on the fireground and the command chain. The following installments will feature applications in the field to help first responders fully understand the effective application of the system.

1-8-15 TIMS and Command Exercises PDF  | Print |

 1-8-15 TIMS exercise

1-8-15 Setting up Signage

Company 1 continued its training regiment with a whiteboard exercise on the traffic incident management system (TIMS). Captain Trevilian reviewed the terminology and recommended apparatus and traffic signage/cone placement for vehicle accidents based on the first due run area. Next, members rotated through mock scenarios based on past experiences the Company has faced, reviewing what happened and what improvements could have been made. Training transitioned from TIMS to incident command exercises, allowing rising members who may be "riding the seat" on a call to test their knowledge and skills about apparatus placement, crew assignments, and additional resources that should be requested.

1-1-15 RIT Pack Training PDF  | Print |

 1-1-15 Crew

1-1-15 Crew w TIC

1-1-15 RIT Bag

At the beginning of every new year, many people make a resolution of some sorts. For 2015, Captain (and lead training officer) Trevilian challenged the department to make a re-commitment to training more. The company started off right, by having an in house training on basic RIT operations. Members reviewed all of the RIT bag's components and features, before testing their skills and knowledge in a practical scenario. Teams of two were assigned to search and locate a downed firefighter, hook the firefighter up to  the RIT bag, and remove the firefighter from the area, in a blacked out environment with no lighting or available backup.

12-19-14 Pride & Ownership Seminar PDF  | Print |

12-19-14 Classroom

12-19-14 Crew

12-19-14 Wagon 1

12-19-14 Utility 1

On December 19 and 20, Fire & EMS personnel from the surrounding region (including nine from Blue Ridge) spent the day listening to Chief Rick Lasky talk about pride and ownership in the fire service. Chief Lasky retired after 34 years in the service, serving as a career fire chief, volunteer firefighter, and editorial advisory board member of Fire Engineering magazine. The seminar followed much of his book, Pride and Ownership, which focuses on better understanding the mission of the service, the importance of family, how to better market the service, and more.

7-10-14 Rainbow Forest Pre-Planning PDF  | Print |

7-10-14 Utility 1 Pre-Planning

7-10-14 Hydrant Flushing

A much less exciting, but equally important part of the fire service includes pre-planning buildings and sites within a fire department's run area that could pose a challenging and dangerous situation, without prior knowledge. For the Blue Ridge area, that includes private and public facilities such as churches, industrial operations, strip malls, and commercial businesses such as gas stations and banks. Company 1 members recently stopped by Rainbow Forest Baptist Church and completed a thorough walk-through of the building, making notes of any hazards and what fire suppression items were already in place. In addition, vehicle placement and investigation assignments for the first and second arriving engine companies were discussed and nearby hydrants were flushed and lubricated. A detailed report will be completed at a later date and shared with agencies on the run card for that address.

6-28-14 Rural Water Supply Course PDF  | Print |

6-28-14 RWS Course 1

6-28-14 RWS Course 2

On the final weekend of June, Blue Ridge firefighters J. Lim and R. Zelenske, along with firemen from around the County participated and successfully completed Virginia's Rural Water Supply course hosted by the Virginia Department of Fire Programs and Botetourt County Emergency Services. Firefighters discussed the importance of water flow rates, travel times between the dump and fill sites, and even historical methods of water supply operations. After completing a written exam, students participated in rural water supply practicals that ranged from drafting from a nearby creek in Buchanan to setting up fill and dump sites, while maintaining a constant water flow. Departments with members in attendance: Blue Ridge, Buchanan, Fincastle, Read Mountain, and Botetourt County.

6-5-14 Pump Operations PDF  | Print |

6-5-14 Pump Ops Training 1

6-5-14 Pump Ops Training 2

6-5-14 Pump Ops Training 3

 Once again, Blue Ridge firefighters continued honing their skills by returning to the basics with some pump operations. Crews reviewed pumping, drafting, and water supply operations. This training was especially beneficial for the two new members that were present.

5-29-14 Extrication Training PDF  | Print |

5-29-14 Extrication Training 1

5-29-14 Extrication Training 2

5-29-14 Extrication Training 3

5-29-14 Extrication Training 4

5-29-14 Extrication Training 5

Every Summer, Company 1 members train heavy on vehicle extrication, and this year was no different. Over 10 firefighters staffed Wagon 1, Squad 1, Brush 1, and Utility 1 and headed over the Omni Source plant to practive a variety of vehicle extrication scenarios and get much needed hands on time for younger members. Crews returned to service after 3 hours of training.

8-8-13 Blue Ridge Boxley Quarry Walkthrough PDF  | Print |

8-8-13 Squad 1 and Brush 1 inside the Quarry

8-8-13 Quarry Water

8-8-13 Quarry View

8-8-13 Quarry Building

8-8-13 Quarry Rockpile

8-8-13 Tour of Electrical Paneling

In the modern world, fire departments must not only be reactive to fires and other emergencies, but proactive. One the routes this can be achieved is through pre-planning of structures and developments in the general run area. On August 8th, members from Company 1 staffed the Wagon, Squad, and Brush and headed to the Boxley Quarry just across the Botetourt-Bedford County line. Although in the 2nd Due area, Blue Ridge Fire & Rescue would likely be added to the run for any significant emergency. The crew was met by the foreman, who showed a video about safety procedures at the quarry. Following that, a detailed walk-through occurred of the entire site, visiting key areas where emergencies like fires or technical rescues might occur. The foreman noted that he expects the quarry to remain in operation for at least another 50 years, after that it will likely be filled with water and converted to a lake. After a few hours, the tour ended abruptly when a possible structure fire was dispatched on Blue Ridge Springs Road. Company 1 arrived to find a faulty dishwasher motor. The crew returned to quarters around midnight.

8-3-13 Beyond Helmets and Hoses PDF  | Print |

8-13-13 PowerPoint

8-13-13 Posters

8-3-13 Sing Along Time

8-13-13 FF Soper certification

On the first weekend of August, Botetourt County Emergency Services hosted the Beyond Helmets and Hoses seminar taught by instructors from the Volunteer and Combination Officers section of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. In total, 27 students attended the class at the Greenfield Training Center, with Firefighters Soper and Zelenske representing Blue Ridge. The course addressed topics such as leadership and management, recruitment and retention, marketing, and related items. All of these components were discussed in depth through class activities that challenged students on a group and individual basis to come up with solutions. All participants successfully completed the course and were given a certificate of attendance. County Administrator Kathleen Guzi stopped in and thanked everyone for attending and echoed the instructors recommendation to pass on the knowledge learned to other Fire & Rescue members. A special thanks to the three instructors, Chief Larry Curl, Chief Glenn Jirka, and Chief Greg Render from IAFC for coming to Botetourt and teaching.

7-18-13 Pump Ops Training PDF  | Print |

7-18-13 Engine 1 Pumping

7-18-13 Wagon 1 Pumping

7-18-13 Wagon 1

With a smaller turnout than usual for the weekly training session, the Company moved back to the basics and trained on pump operations to teach one of the newer firefighters. Crews set up the drop tank and practiced drafting water from it through the Wagon and relaying it to the Engine and discharging it back into the drop tank, creating a continuous circuit. All members were required to demonstrate basic knowledge of the pump panel and order of operations.

7-11-13 Ropes Training PDF  | Print |

7-11-13 Prep Time

7-11-13 Stokes Basket

7-11-13 Setting up the Stokes

7-11-13 Trevilian Repelling

7-11-13 Trevilian and Lim Repelling

After spending June on auto extrication, Captain Trevilian and Lieutenant Lim opted to teach on a more seldom visited topic--technical rescue. The officers demonstrated the use of ropes, by scaling down the side of the Station's fire escape. The main scenario was raising and lowering a stokes basket with a patient in it utilizing the Station's fire escape. The training ended safely with no injuries and much knowledge gained.

6-23-13 New Training Prop PDF  | Print |

6-23-13 Training Prop 1

6-23-13 Training Prop 2

As the 2013 Fiscal Year came to a close, the Company choose to spend the remaining training funds on building materials for a new training prop. Crews built the mock roof structure in house by the membership. The prop is designed with two topics in mind, roof operations and rapid intervention. Firefighters can demonstrate skills like cutting a hole in the roof for ventiliation purposes, and can also practice the Denver Drill, which is designed for a mayday in close quarters. The addition of this prop will allow the Department to use a more hands on approach during future training.

6-20-13 Extrication Training Part III PDF  | Print |

6-20-13 Captain Trevilian with the Jaws

6-20-13 FF Bates with the Jaws

6-20-13 FF Soper with the Jaws

6-20-13 Instructor Munson

6-20-13 Instructor Trevilian

6-20-13 Troutville FFs

6-20-13 Wagon 1

After spending the first two training nights in the classroom, the crew headed off for the practical portion of the training on the third night. The team of 15 firefighters staffed the Wagon, Squad, Utility, and Ambulance and headed off to the shredder in Montvale. A four man crew from the Troutville VFD also participated in the training. Instructors Munson, Durham, and Trevilian split up and trained firefighters on a variety of scenarios and allowed for all participants to have hands on time. Each training station had a vehicle setup a different way that might be encountered in a real life situation, such as an upright vehicle with a crushed roof from rollover. Some stations required the use of manual tools, instead of hydraulic in the event of a hydraulic tool failure or absence. The crews trained for four hours and were interrupted by only one call that was handled by the Wagon and Brush. Approximately one week later, this training would be used during an accident. Further on that story can be found by visiting the incidents page. This training and that call was outlined in a story written in the Fincastle Herald. Photos courtesy Turner Griffin.


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