Operation LiFFT

Jamie Heap
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Draeger Safety’s Live Fire Training Tour Ignites in Springhill.

Firefighters from across Cumberland and Colchester counties participated in Operation LiFTT: Live Fire Training Tour, this past weekend in Springhill. On Saturday, these firefighters honed their fire extinguisher skills by utilizing the Draeger TUTOR Fire Extinguisher Trainer.

SPRINGHILL-Sixty-four firefighters from across Cumberland and Colchester counties received once-in-a-lifetime training this past weekend that will benefit them immensely.

There are four Operation LiFFT (Live Fire Training Tour) modules: Flashover Observation/Dräger Swede Survival Phase 1 Flashover Training System; Exterior Vertical Propane Tank Fire Dräger System 64, a propane-fueled Live Fire Simulator; Fire Extinguisher training using the Dräger TUTOR Fire Extinguisher Trainer, and, a confined Space/SCBA Confidence/Search & Rescue Dräger D-pod Mobile Training System (http://www.draeger.ca/CA/en_US/customer_groups/fire_emergency/operation-LiFTT.jsp).

Operation LiFFT, which made its only Nova Scotia stop this past weekend in Springhill, began on Friday with the training of trainers who, in turn, trained 64 firefighters over the weekend-32 on Saturday and another 32 on Sunday. Participating fire departments included Amherst, Brookfield, Joggins, Oxford, Parrsboro, Pugwash, River Hebert, Salmon River, Springhill, Truro,Valley-Kempton, Wallace, Wentworth and Westchester.

“Firefighters received about a half-hour of instruction inside the (Dr. Carson and Marion Murray) Community Centre prior to receiving an additional hour to hour-and-a-half of hands-on training for each of the four modules,” stated Kathrin Martens, Communications and Sales Marketing Manager, Fire Service and Mining, for Draeger Safety Canada Ltd., a title since she has held since last year when she moved to Canada.

Prior to August, 2012, Martens worked for Draeger headquarters in Germany since 2006.

Operation LiFFT received much positive feedback from its participants as well. “It’s awesome,” stated Paul Lacey, a Black Hat with the Amherst Fire Department that demonstrated how to use a TIC (Thermal Imaging Camera), a device that can cost anywhere between $10,000 and $15,000. “It’s been a really good learning experience,” stated Lacey. “You get to see flashover conditions (inside a live burn training simulator) before it happens, knowing that you only have 30 seconds to get out,” he added.

According to Martens, such simulators are kept safe through the knowledge and expertise of the trainers inside of them. “Everybody has done a great job so far,” stated Martens.

On Sunday, trainers and participants alike received certificates recognizing their training.

“This is the best training that I have received in the past 24 years of firefighting,” stated Joggins Volunteer Fire Department Chief Laurie Melanson on Sunday. “This will probably be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most of us firefighters,” he added.

“I would like to thank Draeger Canada for giving Cumberland and Colchester firefighters this opportunity,” stated Mike Carter, the Fire Services Coordinator for the Municipality of Cumberland. “I think that Cumberland and Colchester counties will be safer now.”

Carter also acknowledged Home Hardware and Wilson’s Fuels for donating Class A burning material and propane respectively that were used during the live fire simulations.

Organizations: Draeger Safety Canada, Operation-LiFTT.jsp, Fire Service Amherst Fire Department Joggins Volunteer Fire Department Fire Services Coordinator

Geographic location: Cumberland, SPRINGHILL, Colchester US Nova Scotia Joggins Oxford Parrsboro River Hebert Salmon River Westchester Canada Germany

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