Categories: General Date: Apr 13, 2009 Title: Dalhart Fire Department receives TEEX trainingThe Dalhart Fire Department attended an emergency vehicle driving school. The two-day course that began on Saturday, April 4th, encompassed both theory and practical training. More than half of Dalhart’s Volunteer Fire Department completed the training.
By Robin Scott
The Dalhart Fire Department attended an emergency vehicle driving school. The two-day course that began on Saturday, April 4th, encompassed both theory and practical training. More than half of Dalhart’s Volunteer Fire Department completed the training.
Fire Chief Curtis Brown and several members of the Volunteer Fire Department as well as Deputy Jarred Sides with the Dallam County Sheriff’s Office attended the 16-hour training. The course complies with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) requirements for the operation of an emergency vehicle.
The course was presented by the Texas Engineering Extension Services (TEEX) and held at the airport in Dalhart. TEEX has provided fire training for emergency responders since 1929. The permanent firefighter training school is located at Texas A & M University in College Station. TEEX trains more than 81,000 emergency responders in all 50 states and in 45 countries each year. Training provided within a city is an invaluable asset to cities like Dalhart, that have a Volunteer Fire Department and firefighters have other full-time jobs.
Emergency vehicle training is required for all firefighters, volunteer and paid. The course was taught by TEEX free of charge, another invaluable asset for the department. Chief Brown noted, "It is an excellent and important course. We had classroom training all day Saturday going over the laws. On Sunday we were driving." Understanding laws involving firefighting is often an overlooked element of firefighter training by the public. TEEX stresses the laws so that firefighters and emergency responders don’t find themselves as a party to a lawsuit.
According to Chief Brown, "This class stresses over and over the rules." He also gave an example that when an emergency vehicle uses its sirens, it is asking for the right-of-way, so still must use extreme caution and follow safety rules. A wreck resulting from the collision of an emergency vehicle could result in a lawsuit against the driver, and the fire chief for having authorized the driver to operate the vehicle. Most citizens’ idea of fire training is limited to putting out fires and rescuing people, and not understanding the numerous laws that must be obeyed and followed.
Several of Dalhart’s firefighters attended a similar course last year. Chief Brown states that in the future the course will be offered in Dalhart twice each year. The course is open to anyone operating an emergency vehicle, including firefighters, EMS, and police and law enforcement. Chief Brown commented, "It will
likely become an annual requirement in the near future."
More information on fire prevention and emergency responders may be obtained at www.nfpa.org.