Fire School Helps Volunteer Emergency Responders With Essential Training


Vehicle stabilization, natural gas emergencies, sawing techniques -- all skills emergency crews have to utilize while on various calls.

Volunteer fire crews get a hands–on look at different scenarios they could encounter while at the 22nd annual Mid-Winter Fire School in Holdrege.

This school offers training to all emergency responders so they can work together, learning from each other and professional instructors on ways to stay safe.

"We put safety first in everything we do. We want everyone to go home after the call, to be returned to their families, and that's our number one rule," said training coordinator Eric Van Horn. "That's why we do this school so that everyone can learn the proper and safe way to handling emergency services and so they're prepared for what they might expect."

But organizers say being a volunteer responder can be demanding and expensive, especially when equipment and techniques evolve with time.

"As the times progress, our gear gets better, tools get better, that's really the purpose to having this school is so that everyone can stay up on current level of the trade is around us so that's why we have this. It's a good time for everyone to get together, learn the new trends, learn what tools are accessible for departments to use, and how to use them," Van Horn added.

More than 200 responders attended Sunday's session, with departments from as close as Axtell to as far away as Kansas.