Fire and EMS training key to saving lives - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Fire and EMS training key to saving lives

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Every day we put our lives into the hands of those professionally trained to keep us safe, but where do those people get their training? How often do they need to learn something new?

An accident can happen at any time, which means fire and rescue teams need to be prepared for action at a moments notice. Whether at a vehicle crash or at a fire, there are skills needed to be the very best. Those skills come from schooling, like the yearly Fire, EMS and Rescue School.

"A lot of times, the fire fighters have to train on their own with their departments, they usually do monthly trainings," explains Wanda Staska, the EMS/Fire Program Director at Riverland Community College. "This is a great opportunity to get with other people from other departments. Great networking."

The Heintz Center filled with nearly 500 fire fighters looking to get better at what they do best. Even people with years of experience make the trip to learn the latest life-saving techniques.

"Things change all the time," says Staska. "What's in houses now that burn isn't the same that's in houses 20 years ago that burned. Everything reacts differently, so you need to up to date with how things are going to react with fire, smokes and the dangers of that."

They are learning the latest information not just with fire, but with saving lives at car accidents as well.

"Auto extrication, the newer cars have different safety features in it," explains Staska. "We want to make sure that the fire fighters know how to safely help people when they need it."

It also gives other departments a chance to share how they do things.

"There's people from all over the place. They get to talk to eachother, learn about new things. See how one department's doing it and comparing with them," says Staska. "So, they can take away a lot of things even outside the classroom."

All for the ultimate goal of being the best at saving lives.

"The public should feel comfortable that the fire fighters and EMS personnel know what they're doing, because they do get a lot of extra training and it's all just to make everyone safe."

Rochester has been the host of the Southeast Minnesota training sessions for the last ten years, all put on by the EMS/Fire Program at Riverland Community College.

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