Several FIRE students from Honolulu CC participated in the 4th Annual 50th State Fire Conference that was held at the Hawai’i Extreme Paintball & Airsoft facility located at Kalaeloa. This 3-day event, scheduled from Aug 3-5 began with a lecture day on Monday featuring guest speakers renowned in the fire industry for their leadership, and expertise.
The following two days consisted of HOT drills (Hands-on Training) involving the students in search and rescue where they had to crawl on hands and knees wearing full protective clothing and equipment to search for and drag out a dummy weighing 175 lbs.
Another event had participants forcing entry through doorways using pry-bars, axes, and sledgehammers to gain access into a building.
A third event featured participants stabilizing vehicles at an accident scene where one automobile rested on top of another simulating a typical highway crash. Students using hydraulic-powered rescue tools, safely gained access into vehicles to extricate victims for medical transport.
Engine company operations gave participants the opportunity to practice dragging medium-diameter hose lines through a building and around corners to spray water in suppressing a fire at its origin while ventilation efforts to remove heat and smoke could continue.
A new event at this year’s conference was “Firefighter Survival” that focused on a “MAYDAY” situation and how to prevent and respond. Self-survival procedures include avoiding panic, emergency breathing, and knowing actions to improve survivability. This training increased students’ knowledge of firefighter skills and personal fitness including medical, physical and mental fitness, importance of a proper diet, adequate rest, heart attacks, injuries, and stress in relation to the job.
The mission of the 50th State Fire Conference is to provide the highest quality training and instruction to firefighters of all ranks and experience levels. This is intended to prepare firefighters to effectively execute the most advanced rescue and fire operation techniques and accomplished by delivering the most realistic and innovative training possible, while ensuring a high level of personal safety, encouraging a proactive mentality and teamwork, providing tools and techniques used by some of the most successful fire departments, and encouraging professionalism.
Two of the instructors for the conference are assistant instructors for HonCC’s Firefighter I & II courses. Patrick Demello and Shane Furuta are subject matter experts assisting in the fire program hands-on skill training.
Participants at the conference included firefighters from Honolulu FD, Federal FD, Hawai’i Airports Crash/Fire, and Honolulu Community College’s Fire Program.