Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Extrication Training the Station 3 Way

Firefighters are always hungry for training. You call them to task and they will perform. Fire Captain Ed Chaco and his crew at Station #3 in Barrigada are always practicing "what they preach" so to speak.

Here is a great training regime utilizing the Hurst hydraulic extrication equipment, "Jaws of Life". As the old saying goes, practice how you play.

The following story and pictures is provided by Fire Fighter II Dave F. Flores:

Extrication Training: Hydraulic Tools
By: Fire Fighter II D.F. Flores

Lead Instructor: Fire Lieutenant D.G. Aguon

In Attendance: Fire Captain E.D. Chaco,Fire Lieutenant A.P. Concepcion, Fire Lieutenant A.J. Cruz, Fire Lieutenant J.C. Carbullido, Fire Lieutenant M.D.U. Blas, Fire Lieutenant J.K.L. Cruz, Fire Fighter II N.D.Cruz, Fire Fighter II D.F. Flores, Fire Fighter II K.T. San Nicolas, Fire Fighter I I.L. Rosario, Fire Fighter I J.M. Sablan and Fire Fighter I D.S. Torres.

Location: Station 3, Barrigada.

Fire Lieutenant Dean G. Aguon illustrating the basics.

On Tuesday, 22 March 2011, the Station 3 crew conducted extrication training with the use of hydraulic tools and instructional DVD’s provided by the Guam Fire Department Training Bureau.

In the classroom environment we were able to review the Basic skills and new technology in extrication practices, taking into considerations different scenarios on how to overcome seen and unseen obstacles that may arise at a scene. We reviewed the many hand tools and pneumatics and how to properly utilize them in an emergency situation to get the maximum effect with lesser effort to achieve our goals at an emergency response.

We were also able to view different extrication principals such as having a rescue response plan which is always able to change and to have flexibility which is always depending on the scene size up, knowing what resources are available and any limitations if any which may become an obstacle while trying to obtain our ultimate goal of saving lives and protecting property.

We also were brought into light about the new vehicle designs, air bag placements, many created to protect the occupants, yet in a rescue mission it can become very dangerous to the rescue team and those around the hot zone. Especially where large vehicles are involved such as a tractor trailer that is carrying a load on a flatbed, a school bus with children on-board, simply a vehicle with a high center of gravity that can become unstable during a rescue. Most of all patient considerations with mechanism of injury added into the equation.

Since I have been in the department, extrication equipment use has been only utilized by our Rescue Units. Only in the past few years have they been implemented in a few of our Fire apparatus units.

Lt. Aguon explaining the various parts of the cutter.

After the class we tackled the equipment familiarization in our apparatus bay and in the parking lot. Operating, handling of the equipment seems to be easy on video, but until you get your hands on it, feeling the weight and finding a way to work with it to your advantage without harming yourself and damaging the equipment is a task in itself. To work around obstacles, debris, cribbing and most of all other emergency personnel around the scene.

Overall, the training was a success from the classroom to the field. Just like anything, if you don’t practice and train on something, then how efficient will you be in the field on a emergency response when someone’s life is on the line. In our job it’s team work that will get you through, knowing and trusting the men and women you may work with can mean seconds in obtaining the main objective…SAVING LIVES.

Lead Instructor Fire Lt. D.G. “Damn Good” Aguon pointing out where the best placement for cutting, as well some of the safety factors that must be considered when in operation.

Fire Fighters D.S. “Baby-Boy” Torres and I.L. “Spitonit” Rosario looking over the hydraulic pump prior to operations.

Field Training:

Fire Fighter J.M. “Choke-U” Sablan utilizing the hydraulic shears to cut away the top rail to facilitate the modified dash roll.

Fire Capt. E.D.”The Hammer” Chaco severs the top rail with ease.

Fire Lt. A.J. “Prensa” Cruz, FF II N.D. “Stormin Norman” Cruz, FF I J.M. “Choke-U” Sablan and FFII K.T. “Big Boy” San Nicolas taking turns changing the arms of the spreader.

Fire Lt. J.K.L. “Superman” Cruz and FFII D.F. “SuperSonic” Flores await instructions from the Officer-In-Charge prior to executing training evolution 2.

FF II D.F. “SuperSonic” Flores and FF I I.L. “Spitonit” Rosario cut the “A” Post to facilitate the roof removal with the hydraulic shears, while Fire Lt. J.K.L. “Superman” Cruz controls and monitors the hydraulic line in the background.

ALS personnel Fire Lt. J.C. “Come Closer” Carbullido and Fire Lt. M.D.U. “The Monster” Blas in the background providing tactical information for patient consideration during an extrication.

And that's how it's done at Station #3 according to Firefighter II Dave Flores.

I would like to thank Fire Captain Ed Chaco and his crew for participating in this very valuable training and Fire Lieutenant Dean Aguon for taking the lead and instructing the men in this training evolution.

Lt. Aguon tells me that he will be going around to the various stations and conducting this same training while he is on duty. Of course he will need to be temporarily reassigned for the day in order to accomplish this task.

We have got to improvise in these days of fiscal restraint.

Job well done!!

It's all good!!!!

Until next time....


  1. Awesome Post!!! Station 3 did nothing more than use what they have on their units and in their personal knowledge and experience backed with references, all at the station. Training like this should be happening everyday at every station. Let no firefighter cry, "if only I had more training". Good Job Station 3!!!

  2. I am sure that quite a few stations conduct great training. I would like to see them start to document their training so that we can share it with everyone.

    Again, great cudos to Station #3 and let us all bring our best to the table.

    It's time to bring GFD all together as ONE BIG TEAM!!!

    We can do it!!!