Free Rescue Training Benefits Rural, Volunteer Firefighters

Firefighters from area communities use a vehicle extraction device to tear off the roof of a pickup during a rescue training scenario staged at Canadian Valley Technology Center’s Holt Campus last weekend. In all, 24 men and women were certified through the class.

June 7, 2016

YUKON – Tom Durante has replayed the scene is his mind many times.

A vehicle crashes in rural Oklahoma. People are trapped inside twisted metal.

Minutes count for motorists in such life and death scenarios and for the volunteer firefighters who routinely face such realities in the remote bergs and towns across the state.

Durante is Canadian Valley Technology Center’s district safety coordinator. He and Dick Lowe, industrial coordinator at CV Tech’s Chickasha Campus, organized the top-notch training.

Two dozen rural firefighters were certified in Vehicle Rescue Technician Level I training after 18 hours of classwork June 5-6 at CV Tech’s Holt Campus.

Instructors at Oklahoma State University’s Fire Service Training Center were hired to provide the knowhow.

Bryan Albright, owner of Cavin Wrecker Service in El Reno and Chickasha, donated wrecked cars for rescue scenarios.

Best of all, Durante said, the class is free to participants.

“This training really helps volunteers when they face rescue situations in which time is so critical,” Durante said.

All costs associated with the training are covered through funding made available by the state Department of Career Tech in Stillwater.

Albright said the training is a huge boost for small departments who send participants.

“Firefighters must have the opportunity to practice their skills and learn new technology before they face an incident where lives are on the line,” he said.

Training includes vehicle stabilization and extrication techniques.

Participants came from the area communities of Cashion, Little Axe, Lindsay, Geary, Oak Cliff, Piedmont and Richland.