The Springfield City Council’s Tuesday lunch session had a little more dramatic tone than usual. It wasn’t because the Council was discussing anything with heavy impact on the city; it’s because they had a live demonstration of rescue training operations from the Springfield Police and Fire Departments.
The Springfield Fire Department walked the Council through the training processes for their firefighters, showing that over the first five years of their employment with the department they engage in a series of ongoing training efforts that expand the overall knowledge of the firefighters; eventually allowing them to serve in a variety of roles within the department.
The firefighters that come through the academy are also trained to be EMTs, allowing them to assist on any emergency situations where they arrive with local medical personnel.
“We make sure everyone who comes through our training understands that we are expecting excellence,” Fire Chief Pennington told Council. “That’s because when citizens call 911 they are expecting excellence from us.”
Police Chief Williams then presented to Council the steps taken for cadets in the Police Academy, and outlined how they gain education and training that far exceeds the state requirements for law enforcement officers.
Officers with the department receive double the state required training in vehicle operation & pursuit driving, almost double the amount of required physical fitness training, more than double the requirements for defensive tactics, defense measures, and use of force.
The biggest area of enhanced training was in the areas of human behavior, cultural diversity, and verbal communications, where officers get almost five times the amount of training required by the state.
The two Chiefs then explained to council how having the combined training facility has been a benefit to the city both in interagency communication and action along with financial benefit.
The chiefs pointed out that sharing the training facility not only allows the members of each department to get to know each other and have familiarity with each other’s tactics in emergency situations, it allows them to share costs and save the taxpayers in maintenance of facilities.
The Council was also given a demonstration of how the combined efforts benefit rescue operations. The firefighters have equipment such as body armor which allows them to enter situations that normally would be off-limits to emergency personnel such as live shooter situations. However, because of the combined training, they can (for example) enter a building with a shooter along with Springfield police escort to find and rescue injured victims.
The benefit is allowing emergency response to reach anyone wounded in a faster period of time, as blood loss is one of the major causes of death in mass casualty situations.