Tulsa Firefighters complete 6 weeks of 'Mayday' training

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Reported by: Brittany Jeffers
Updated: 4/12/2013 10:34 am Published: 4/11/2013 11:19 pm

The Tulsa Fire Department maintains routine training to keep firefighters prepared for all types of situations and emergencies.

TFD recently dedicated six weeks of daily training at the Ziegler Community Center in Tulsa.

TFD Captain Lee Horst tells FOX23 the simulations help to prepare firefighters in the event of a structure collapse or a “Mayday” situation when a firefighter goes down.

“Having one of our own go down is something that totally changes the game,” said Captain Horst, “We hope something like this never happens but if it does we want to be prepared.”

Georgia firefighters were stuck in a hostage situation on Wednesday. An armed gunman held four Georgia firefighters captive before a SWAT team was able to rescue them.  TFD says events like this are why preparation and training is necessary.

Horst helped to create the simulation course which was filled with fake smoke, various barriers and debris. Fire crews were then faced with the task of handling a mock emergency situation.

As a Tulsa Fire Fighter, Bryan Runyan serves as a rescuer. For the simulation, however, he had to play the role of a victim trapped inside of the collapsed structure.

“It was difficult because we are trained to rescue and to help,” said Runyan, “But you know they are coming for you.”

Runyan tells FOX23 that any kind of training is valuable because firefighters never know what they will encounter when they are called to help. He says that effective communication is an important key to handling an emergency situation.

“The physical barriers are the easiest to prepare for,” said Runyan.

Medical emergencies, traffic problems, and hostage situations are all things that stay on their radar.

“We teach our company crews to be aware of their surroundings and to keep their crews safe,” said Captain Horst, “The most important thing that we have to keep in mind is to stay calm and do our jobs.”

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