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FIRE OPS 101: Public Leaders Experience the Tasks of Firefighter/Paramedics on the Eve of Fire Prevention Week

Mon October 04 2010 5:32 am
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VIDEO OF LIVE FIRE OPERATIONS includes Arlington Heights Trustee Bert Rosenberg and Assistant Village Attorney Robin Ward entering a training structure with live fire inside — with Trustee Thomas W. Hayes and Village Manager Bill Dixon observing (Video available in HD/see right of video control bar. Watch any of the videos on this page in HD [720p in right of video control bar] and expand the view.)

Village and city officials from Arlington Heights, Des Plaines, Palatine and Rolling Meadows spent Saturday suited up as firefighter/paramedics and learned the details of fire department tasks. Officials rotated through four scenarios with about 120 firefighter/paramedics on hand at the Northeastern Illinois Public Safety Training Academy. The four stations included a Live Fire scenario with officials getting inside with heat, fire and smoke. They learned the importance of staying low, and they learned how to suit up for interior attack firefighting, breath with Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus, operate the thermal imager, and work a hose while putting water on the fire and interior environment. They also saw first hand the benefit of ventilating a building to release heat and improve visibility inside the burning structure.

VIDEO OF SEARCH & RESCUE/HOSE ADVANCE DRILL IN TWO-STORY SMOKE-FILLED STRUCTURE shows Trustee Joseph C. Farwell suiting up and participating in dragging a realistic dummy in near zero visibility and advancing a hose line. “The only way you’re going to be able to see the victim is by using the thermal imaging camera.” (Video available in HD/see right of video control bar).

In a second scenario, participants learned how to perform search and rescue operations in a smoke-filled two-story structure. They learned to use the thermal imager to find bodies on the floor, and learned how to advance a fire hose — about ‘three-feet-at-a-time.’ They learned the importance of communications in the fire and smoke environment, and the hindrances to human factors communications because of smoke and the difficulty of talking and listening to a voice coming from behind a face mask of self-contained breathing apparatus.

In a third scenario, participants learned truck company ladder operations. They climbed a ladder truck and used a fire ax and sledge hammer on simulated plywood roofs — flat and angled. Participants learned that ladder operations are dangerous and require skill and stamina. Participants also learned about raising ladders and got a feel for high altitudes. They learned the benefits of strength and endurance to use an ax or sledge hammer to put a hole in a roof with continuous repeated strikes of the tools.

Arlington Heights Human Resources Manager Mary Rath and others get some pointers from firefighter/paramedics on the finer points of endotracheal entubation, as Stanley Zydlo, M.D., John Ortinau, M.D. and Mount Prospect Fire Chief Mike Figolah oversee and add their expertise (Video available in HD/see right of video control).

In a fourth scenario participants learned to intubate patients with an endotracheal tube, start an IV, and performing an Intra Osseous IV, CPR, work a cardiac arrest, and move a patient. Arlington Heights firefighter/paramedic James Klein orchestrated a cardiac patient drill for participants, which included a patient history workup, and declining patient condition scenario with cardiac arrest. Participants worked through the cardiac patient drill with airway maintenance, endotracheal intubation, drug administration, defibrillation, CPR and a patient move from chair-to-floor and then floor-to-ambulance-gurney.

Dr. Stanley Zydlo is one of the pioneers of emergency medicine, and has practiced emergency medicine for more than 30 years. He participated in the development of the emergency medicine board certification exam and served as the first co-chairman of the Illinois Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians. Dr. Zydlo originated the first multi-community EMS System in the United Stated in 1972 — kicking off the paramedic program in Illinois. He served many dedicated years as Project Medical Director for the paramedic system based at Northwest Community Hospital. Today that system includes 19 communities, 70+ ALS vehicles, more than 6,000 EMTs and paramedics, and is directed by John Ortinau, M.D.

Dr. Zydlo has touched the lives of thousands of emergency physicians, paramedics and patients, either in training or through his role as chairman of emergency medicine at Northwest Community Hospital. He trained paramedics using the Socratic method with realistic scenarios, just like the scenarios participants experienced Saturday at Fire Ops 101. He also played a vital role in the development of emergency medical services as a consultant with the Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Zydlo also helped in the development of EMS systems in the USSR, Canada, the United Kingdom and Japan.

In 1994, Dr. Zydlo received the Emergency Medical Services Award from the Dallas-based American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).

Fire Ops 101 Education & Training Demonstration
Fire Ops 101 is an education and training demonstration developed by area firefighter/paramedics from Arlington Heights, Des Plaines, Mount Prospect, Palatine and Rolling Meadows with help from guidelines provided by the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF). Public leaders from respective cities and villages participated in the Fire Ops 101 training/demonstration. Look forward this Fire Prevention week to more information and videos, including more information about who participated in the event.

Fire Department Open House, Saturday, October 9
An Arlington Heights Fire Department Open House will be held on Saturday, October 9, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at 1150 North Arlington Heights Road — location of Arlington Heights Fire Department Headquarters and Fire Station 2.

The event recognizes Fire Prevention Week, which is October 3-9. “Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With!” is this year’s Fire Prevention campaign which is designed to educate people about the importance of smoke alarms and encourage everyone to take the steps necessary to update and maintain their home smoke alarm protection.

The Fire Department Open House will include the Fire Safety Trailer, equipment and informational displays, demonstrations, and tours of the fire station. Get a close-up view of the work firefighters do, the equipment they use and the place they stay while on duty protecting the residents of Arlington Heights.


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