South Texas Firefighters Receive Specialized Training


POSTED: Sunday, March 11, 2012 - 5:30pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - 9:58am

The 63rd annual Rio Grande Valley Firefighters and Fire Marshals Association Training conference continued Saturday.

"It gives firefighters an opportunity to learn new techniques, what's new out there in the fire service, the advancements of responding to any major incidents," said Fire Prevention Officer, John O'Valle.

This specialized training for veteran and introductory firefighters across the southern region benefits local departments and saves money.

"They don't have to send firefighters to A&M . They offer the same classes over there, but we're able to offer it down here," said O'Valle.

This year, there are over 400 firefighters that registered for the training courses that began in February.
Training activities included rope and trench rescue, 2-story house fire rescues and rapid intervention training.

"All the courses we have are challenging for the firefighters, but at the same time they're gaining that knowledge, they're gaining that experience. When the real time comes, they'll know how to apply it."

This also gives them an opportunity to meet firefighters from other south Texas areas which can be beneficial during major incidents.

"If there's a major grassfire, it's not just one fire department, you're talking about multiple fire departments coming together."

In an emergency situation, communication is key.

"We already know what to expect from one another and we go out there and we work to extinguish those fires."

Training sessions usually last around 2 weeks, or a total of four weekends.  The conference ends Sunday.

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