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NEWS | Nov. 3, 2018

Preparedness is key when responding to emergencies

By Tech. Sgt. Ave I. Young 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Joint Base San Antonio Fire Emergency Services hosted a Rescue One course at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph from Oct. 22 to Nov. 15. 

A mobile training team, consisting of two instructors from the 312th Training Squadron at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, taught the class to members of the 902nd Civil Engineer Squadron and the Fort Hood Fire Department.

“We’re teaching basic rescue principles like ropes and how to tie knots,” said Staff Sgt. Alexander Spears, 312th TRS Rescue Technician Course instructor. “We move on to advanced techniques like ascending, repelling, packaging patients and rescuing victims from the ground. The third block is confined spaces with possible atmospheric hazard.”

The capstone event – a real-world scenario the firefighters could actually face – is planned to take place at the water tower. They will package patients and lower them to the ground.

“The course teaches us to use basic gear like ropes, carabiners, webbing and cordage to accomplish a task that can be accomplished with advance gear,” said Michael Coscarelli, 902nd CES lead firefighter.

A firefighter’s mission is to protect life and property, he said.

“Knowing how to rescue someone with advance gear and techniques is imperative because you can easily hurt yourself or kill someone else if you don’t know what you’re doing,” Coscarelli said.

Firefighters encounter dangerous situations and have many responsibilities. Firefighter safety is imperative to remain successful on the job.

“This course helps JBSA by having people who are qualified and trained on rescue operations, know what they’re doing and ready to go,” said Senior Airman Aaron Leal, 902nd CES firefighter. “This puts more tools in our tool bag to resort back to; training provides us exposure so if we see something on an emergency, it’s not the first time we’re seeing or dealing with it. It prepares us.”

Preparedness is key when responding to emergencies. 

“It’s a great three and a half weeks. I’ll be taking this back to the station to pass this knowledge on to our younger guys,” Coscarelli said.