Dothan Fire Department HOST to Some 50 UPAID Professional FiremanRickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Jan 06 2018 8:31 PM
DOTHAN - HOUSTON COUNTY: Beginning this morning at 9 AM Dothan Fire Chief Larry Williams and Dothan Fire Captain Stephen Messer were host to some 50 UNPAID Professional Firefighters from across Huston County.
Dothan - Houston County Emergency Manageent Director Chris Judah and Captain Messer have been working on programs to provide intense training for the men and women referred to as Volunteer Fireman. But as was made clear in the training today they are more then volunteer fireman.
The 17 departments that are volunteer across Houston County are “UNPAID professional Fireman”. They donate their times and energies, with the same dangers and obstacles as ”PAID” Professional Fireman.
Some of the departments represented today were Webb, Columbia, Daleville, Wicksburg, Taylor, Hodgesville, Lovetown, Rehobeth, Gordon, Kinsey, Cowarts and Dothan - Houston County Emergency Management. Some fireman at age 21 and age 73, both from Webb Fire. One UNPAID Professional Fire Chief who has 39 years service to Kinsey Fire, Charles Reneau.
Dothan Fire Chief Larry Williams kicked off the first 9 AM to 5 PM training module. Williams showed some video events of where a California Fireman fell through a roof of a structure fire. The fireman will never be able to serve as a fireman again because of the injuries.
Williams spoke of the dangers of firefighting and steps to make the fireman safe. Chief Williams spoke of 9 fireman who lost their lives in one fire in Charlestown. Of the 343 fireman who lost their lives in 911.
Williams spoke of summits that have been held, and that he has been a part of, in efforts to reduce firefighter deaths. Williams spole of LIFESAFETY as the primary objective. That while property was important to save, that property is not worth the life of a fireman.
Chief Williams spoke that often times the leader is not liked. And if the Chief is liked well then sometimes it means you are not making the difficult decisions with the number one priority, SAFETY. The goal is for everyone to go home after the fire.
Chief Williams said two reasons fireman are killed: (1) traffic accidents while responding to fires, (2) cardiac arrests from the fire fighting.
Chief Williams said Dothan Fire Department follows the Incident Command System. That there is one Incident Commander on the scene. Normally in Dothan that is the Battalion Chief. And that even he, as THE FIRE CHIEF, while the actual boss, tries to follow the Incident Commander System. A scene can not have two bosses.
Following Chief Williams, Houston County Commissioner Brandon Shoupe spoke to the fireman. Commissioner Shoupe was excited to see so many take their time on a Saturday to work to improve the service capabilities. Shoupe said the Houston COunty Commission, he as an individual commissioner, supports the work of the UPAID PRoFESSIONAL FIREMAN. He gave his phone number of any needed him for anything.
The first session taught by Chief Williams and then by Captain Messser was Command Structure.
Incident Scene Commanders total focus and concentration is on the people working the fire. Captain Messer said there is one “clear” chain of authority and it is to be made clear. The scene is not the place to debate that. And one of the first persons the Incident Commander is to put in place is SAFETY. ANd that SAFETY OFFICER is to concentrate on the safety of all involved. The SAFETY OFFICER can not get distracted or attempt to perform other tasks, but concentrate on the hazards, make the Incident Commander aware of those safety hazards and the fireman involved.
Captain Messer challenged the group and instructed on several scenarios and command structures.
Another group of UNPAID PROFESSIONAL FIREMAN started at 1 PM. They worked in the cold with Battalion Chief Sean Gibson, Sgt. John Penn and Sgt. David Harrison They worked actual firefighting training events. How to handle equipment and hoses. How to disperse water on fires.
Today, with some 50 UNPAID PROFESSIONAL FIREMAN in attendance. This was the first in a series of combined training with Dothan Fire Department. It is the desire of Dothan - Houston COunty Emergency Management Director Chris Judah, Dothan Fire Captain Stephen Messer and with the blessings of Dothan Fire Chief Larry Williams for a smooth operation anywhere you are at in Houston County. That all agencies work safe and in sync with each other as one team.
THANKS first to the 50 men and women who gave of their time.
THANKS to EMA Director Judah and Captain Messer for designing the training.
THANKS to Dothan Fire Chief Larry Williams and members of the City of Dothan Mayor and Commissioners for allowing it.
THANKS to Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver, Commissioners Curtis Harvey, Doug Singfield, Jackie Battles and Brandon Shoupe for their unwavering support of the UNPAID PROFESSIONAL FIREMAN and Dothan - Houston County Emergency Management.