Fire incident command training trailer visits valley, provides ‘world class’ training

Firefighters from throughout Cache County received world-class training this week when they were invited to use the Utah Fire & Rescue Academy’s new mobile command trailer.The 53-foot trailer was being used for the first time Wednesday and Thursday when it was brought to the North Logan Fire Department. The facility allows one firefighter to act as an incident commander and work with about a dozen other firefighters who man laptop computers and roleplay positions that would be found at an actual fire scene.On Thursday, one of the scenarios performed by the firefighters was a house that had a fire in the basement and a victim was found inside the burning structure.Over the course of the two-day training course, every firefighter attending the class would receive at least two chances to act as the incident commander, which is the person who delegates and acts as the point guard of the operation, managing resources and telling everyone what to do and where to go.”They’re essentially seeing a careers worth of firefighting in two days,” said Utah Fire and Rescue Academy’s Ryan Peterson, the training coordinator with the trailer. “This is some of the best training they’ll ever receive.”After each training scenario, Logan Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Peterson and Ryan Peterson would review what the firefighters did and offer tips on what to do better.After the basement fire scenario, however, there wasn’t much to criticize.”We’re finding little things to pick on here,” Jeff Peterson told the firemen. “You guys are nailing these.”The trailer is set up in three different compartments. In the rear of the trailer is a place for the operator of the scenarios to work and conduct the computer simulations. In the trailer’s middle compartment is a large flat screen display and a computer where the incident commander works. In the front of the trailer are about a dozen computer stations where the rest of the firemen, representing everything from fire engines to ambulances, operate. Every firefighter working in the operation has a radio and a headset to communicate with each other, and everyone involved with the scenario must operate as if they were on a real fire call.”The Mobile Command Training Center is designed as a practice facility where we apply principles of risk management, decisions of strategy and appropriation of resources in a safe but realistic environment,” said Brad Wardle, fire chief of the West Jordan Fire Department. “Officers leave with a foundation in the basics of command, confident in their abilities after having practices and developed incident command skills with their peers.”

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