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RFD spends Thursday training at city apartment complex

Three fire trucks carrying firefighters in full turnout gear showed up at Village Square Apartments on Thursday, but it wasn’t to fight a fire.

The B Shift firemen with Russellville Fire Department were actually going through necessary training to keep refreshed on the different procedures they have for high-rise or multi-level apartment buildings.

Chief Joe Mansell said it’s important for the men in his department to go through this training on a regular basis because the things they do at an apartment complex are different from other structure fires.

“We have something we call a ‘high rise pack,’ which is basically just a smaller hose than our 2.5-inch hose, that we use in these situations,” Mansell said.

“This high rise pack weighs well over 50 pounds, so we’ve had each fireman work in groups of two to practice carrying the pack all the way up to the top floor and practice getting it hooked up properly.

“The pack is heavy and all the guys need to be aware of that and aware of what it’s like to have to carry it up all those flights of stairs so they will be prepared in case we are faced with that situation.”

Mansell said they also went over the map for the apartment and the specific room numbers so they would be familiar with where each room was located.

“It’s just good to be prepared and to practice these things outside of an emergency situation,” Mansell said.

“When there’s a fire in the building, that is not the time to try to remember which hoses to use or where a certain room is located.

“This is also a good opportunity for us to see what we might need to work on or do better with. If we’re having problems getting up the stairs in all of our gear while also carrying the high rise pack, then that’s something we need to know so we can be working on our cardio and things to keep in shape so that we can do our job to the best of our ability.”

Mansell said he appreciated the management at Village Square Apartments for allowing them to use the facility for training purposes.

“Training is important with any job but it’s especially important for us so we can always stay on top of the proper procedures and actions in an emergency situation and be able to better protect the community we serve,” Mansell said.

“We appreciate the management for allowing us to do that at Village Square.”