Firefighters go to school
The members of the Block Island Volunteer Fire Department have been hard at work training to achieve Firefighter One level status during the past several months.
According to Chief Kirk Littlefield, representatives from the Rhode Island Fire Training Academy have been coming to the island on weekends to help train about a dozen members of the department, including on Saturday, Feb. 1, when they trained on a house that was to be torn down the next day. “They brought out five instructors, a smoke machine, extra air packs and bottles to do searches, personal evacuations from the building, roof venting, and to train the members in the National Fire Protection Association standards on how to properly set up a ladder against a building that is on fire,” Littlefield said.
Littlefield said this was all part of a months-long program so the members can achieve their Firefighter One certification. “The members have been giving up their Saturdays and Sundays to get this training in. The Fire Academy was gracious enough to do a blended program,” said Littlefield, which meant the members of the Academy came out to the island to do the training, which department members would usually do on the mainland. Firefighter One level means that the firefighter has been certified in basic firefighting techniques.