PLATTSMOUTH – The Plattsmouth Volunteer Fire Department will have another golden feather in its proverbial helmet as the fire station becomes the chosen spot for a statewide Firefighter II training class starting Nov. 18.
In his monthly report to city council, Chief Mike Wilson explained the class entails five sessions for a total of 75 hours of classroom and hands-on skills. It will run through March 18 at the Plattsmouth Fire and Rescue Station.
According to the Nebraska State Fire Marshal website, the “course builds on the knowledge and skills of firefighter 1 and prepares a person to assume the role of an incident commander while operating within a command structure, understand and use foam, operate vehicle extrication tools and safely perform a vehicle rescue operation, safely attack a fire in a compressed gas container, understand the basics of a fire investigation and determine the point of origin and protect possible evidence of arson, test fire hose and perform service maintenance on various gas powered fans, generators and rescue equipment.”
Wilson: “It’s available to other departments in the area. Assistant Fire Chief Bill Dudek, who is a certified instructor for the Nebraska State Fire Marshal, is donating his time to teach the class for area firefighters.”
The class offering is not the only feather in the PVFD’s hat. Wilson will be attending the next International Association of Fire Chiefs Association session where he will be exposed to the latest break-throughs in firefighting and emergency service.
Wilson: “In 2013, City Administrator Erv Portis and past mayor Mike Bowman urged me to become a member of the International Fire Chiefs Association and I did.”
Councilman Steve Riese added that the international organization recognized Wilson last year with one of its prestigious leadership awards.
Such leadership experiences have helped the department maintain 48 volunteers on the force for the past eight years.
Wilson: “We’re proud of that because other communities are struggling to get volunteers.”
These volunteers have responded to 193 calls this year alone.
Wilson: “That’s about average of what we’ve been responding to. Last month we went on 23 calls, some were aiding EMS (Emergency Medical Services) with vehicle accidents. There were also carbon monoxide detectors going off and gas emergency calls.”
The chief invited council members to attend any of the PVFD’s general meetings on the first Tuesday of each month.
Riese: “Chief Wilson will put you in a fire suit and put you into a burning building as part of the training. You do learn a lot about what we have going on across the street (at the fire station).”