Ice Rescue Training
Two firefighters being dragged across the ice looks like it might actually be fun. These two firefighters have just climbed out of a hole cut in the ice for training. The firefighter on the bottom played the role of victim and didn't help much as his partner rescued him. Each firefighter is wearing an ice rescue suit that is designed to keep them dry and warm. The rescuer is on top and has attached the victim to the tether rope with a collar that is similar to a pool noodle. This is the easy version of ice rescue.
When the ice is thinner and breaks easily, the rescue becomes much more complicated. The rescuer breaks through the ice and swims to the next patch of ice and climbs on. This process is repeated until the rescuer reaches the victim. No matter how thick the ice may be, there is the potential for someone to fall through. In 2017, our members spent a combined 276 hours performing ice rescue drills.
Swift Water Rescue
With the Merrimack River running through the city, it is imperative that our members have a working knowledge and skill set for the ever-changing conditions of the river. Our members train for the very real possibility of having to pick someone up that became stranded on one of the islands in the river, "grab" a person from the water or assist a boater that may have misjudged the river conditions. When our members train for swift water rescues, they wear dry suits and personal flotation devices. In 2017, our members participated in a combined 231 hours of boat skill and river rescue training.
Combined Operations Training
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) was kind enough to allow us to use a dormitory that was slated for demolition for combined operations training. The dorms at SNHU are arranged like garden style apartments; a style of apartment that can be found throughout the city. These kinds of buildings present challenges for firefighting crews due to their positioning off of paved roads or parking areas. Firefighters have to be prepared to advance hose lines longer than normal distances.
Our members spent a week of SNHU working with longer than normal hose stretches, cutting vent holes in flat roofs, forcing entry through doors and conducting search and rescue in a heavy smoke environment. When the training was complete. our members had completed a combined 550 hours of training and the building was ready to be demolished.
Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus Training
Members of the Manchester Fire Department completed a Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) confidence maze. Members wore their full structural firefighting protective ensemble and their SCBA and were challenged to maneuver through a maze while performing search skills. The maze included reduced clearance openings and a "through the wall" evacuation maneuver.
NH-only EMT Refresher
Open to all MFD personnel, this is a required area of education every two years for those that hold the NH ONLY (non-NREMT) EMT license. These 20 members are an area of licensure that is almost exclusively in Manchester due to a recertification process error several years ago. Like a traditional EMT Refresher, this was 24 hours of in-person training covering all topics and areas of expertise that comes with retaining your EMT certificiation. For the first time, all 24 hours of this training were recorded and made available through the city's webservers for any members or company at any time to review as part of their monthly training. If this proves valuable, more training will be done like this on various topics throughout the years to come.
CMC/AMR Stroke Program
In 2017, Catholic Medical Center (MFD's medical resource hospital), started a pilot program for pre-hospital stroke telemedicine. All AMR ALS units have the ability to literally bring the neuro doctors to the patient's side before they arrive at the ER through the power of technology. By using an iPad, they are able to aid in the pre-hospital diagnosis of a neurological event and prep the appropriate resources at the ER to save valuable time in treating the issue. CMC provided several classes on setting up the equipment and aiding the AMR personnel in the task of providing this cutting edge level of patient care.
Members were trained on the newest recommendations from the American Heart Association regarding CPR skills and maintenance. Every two years, members of the department must undergo the training prior to the EMT renewal as part of their licensure.
NH Protocol Roll-out
2017 saw the roll-out of new protocols for patient care. Four years in the making from the State of NH Bureau of EMS, these protocols involved some drastic changes with the level of care that EMTs are able to provide under the licensure and scope of practice. More and more we are seeing complaints and situations change and EMTs need to be prepared for almost any situation. While a small part of this was able to be done in a classroom setting, the actual exam needed to be completed online through the NHOODLE website.
EMS in the Warm Zone-Operations Level
Another online based training, this program is the highest level of EMS in the Warm Zone training that providers can obtain to prepare themselves for Active Threat situations. While not having occurred thus far is the state of NH, the growing changes and climate that our society is facing shows the need for this type of training.
2017 In-House Training Hours