The Airdrie Fire Department is hosting a survival training course this week that is designed to help firefighters manage life-threatening situations and make sure all go home safely at the end of their shift.  

The "Fire Ground Survival - Train-the-Trainer Course" was developed by the International Association of Fire Fighters and is a self-rescue program that the Airdrie Fire Department will be implementing, according to Senior Fire Fighter Mark Helton who said after looking at the course for a couple of years they were able to apply and become a host department for the course.  Helton said members from other fire departments in Alberta, B.C., and Saskatchewan will join the six Airdrie firefighters for the course.

"We have members coming from Strathcona County, Red Deer, Grande Prairie, Grande Prairie County, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Dawson Creek, Canmore, and Leduc."

The course, which runs today through Wednesday in Airdrie and wraps up on Thursday at the Calgary Fire Training Centre will focus on situations that firefighters, thankfully, don't run into every day but when they do, they require the skills and quick thinking to get out.

"This is a train-the-trainer course so they'll learn the techniques of entanglement, getting caught up in fallen wires or falling through a collapsed floor and getting entangled in debris and whatnot.  We'll also be learning to escape through windows if the situation ever arose, extricating yourself from different rooms through low profile props that we'll be using.  Then these members will go back to their departments and teach the program to the other members of their department."

IAAF instructors from across Canada and the U.S. will be coming to train the 27 firefighters who are taking the course.Helton said.

"We're just looking forward to a really good educational week this week."   


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