DFD undergoes aerial training

Published 4:43 pm Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Demopolis Fire Department members recently underwent aerial apparatus training for the first time in a number of years. The department utilized the Demopolis Higher Education Center to complete the training rather than outsourcing the skills education to an independent academy.

“We’ve got people from Selma training with us as well as folks from here in town,” Captain Karl Hale said. “It has been a huge cost saver to be able to do this here in town.”

The training focuses on instilling in students a familiarity with the aerial apparatus mounted to the top of the fire engine. The training allows DFD members to develop an aptitude for properly steering the extension ladder or controlling the elevated master streams of water.

“It enables the candidate to learn how to use the aerial device,” Hale said. “Either in offensive or defensive or rescue operations.”

The course marks only the second time in the last 14 years DFD as a whole has undergone such training locally.

“Dealing with that big piece of of equipment is a lot different than dealing with a regular fire truck,” DFD’s Marco Rembert, who underwent the training, said.

“There is a lot more responsibility that goes along with it.”

The training was administered by DFD’s Captain James Bailey.

“I taught the first course here in 1997 or 1998,” Bailey said. “We don’t let them drive the aerial truck until they have been certified as an aerial apparatus operator.”

The training comes in handy for the officers in the event they must combat fires or perform rescue operations at a multiple story dwelling.

“Access to upper levels of a building, rescue from upper levels of a building, whether it be a fire situation or an industrial accident,” Bailey said of the situations the training equips candidates to handle.