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Firefighters to hone skills at weekend fire school

Jan 10, 2014 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Roughly 400 students are in Riverton on Saturday and Sunday

for the annual series of workshops.

About 400 students will be burning cars, breaking down doors and scaling walls this weekend during the Mid-Winter Fire School in Riverton.

The annual series of workshops was designed to help firefighters and employees of private companies hone their safety skills on the job. Fire school chairman and Riverton Volunteer Fire Department Capt. Scott Walters said the lessons cater to all skill levels.

"We bring in a lot of basic classes to help the new firemen just starting their career," he said. "But we also have a lot of classes for seasoned firefighters that have been in the service many years."

Students will handle live fires and practice ventilation, forcible entry, high-angle rescues and basic and advanced auto extrication Saturday and Sunday at the Wyoming Fire Academy in Riverton.

"There are 11 hands-on classes," Walters said.

Seventeen indoor courses will take place at Central Wyoming College, including seven from the National Fire Academy on topics like leadership and hazardous materials operations. And two classes are being held at RVFD Station 4, 404 S. Broadway Ave.

"We brought a frack tank from the oil field and put it in our fire station so they could do vertical and horizontal (maneuvers)," Walters said. "We'll have a pumping operations class and a confined space rescue."

Registration for the fire school costs $100, but Walters said the tuition for volunteer firefighters is paid through a grant from the Wyoming Fire Chief's Association. The event started Friday at RVFD Station 1, 314 E. Washington Ave., in conjunction with a daylong open house showcasing firefighting equipment from throughout the region.

"Friday is the big night; everyone starts to show up," Walters said.

He hopes to continue the fun Saturday, when he has scheduled an evening reception that is new to the fire school.

"I wanted to bring in something different to give everybody something to do," Walters said. "Usually we just have an open house at the fire station and people stop by and visit."

This year, he said the group will have dinner 5:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Elks Lodge, 207 E. Main St., followed by an 8 p.m. performance by Jackson Hole comedian and singer Kip Attaway.

"He's really crude (but) really excellent," Walters said.

Classes resume for a half day Sunday before a pre-departure open house at Station 1.

"It's going to be a good year," Walters said.

He thanked everyone who helped him prepare for the event, from area firefighters to staff at CWC.

"CWC donates 18 of their classrooms for us and their lunch room," Walters said. "And there are so many people around town that donate time and equipment. It makes it so much easier."

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