US fire and swiftwater training set to benefit Australia

Swiftwater training australiaA team from Public Safety Training & Response Group recently travelled to the Oklahoma State University (OSU) Fire Service Training Swiftwater Rescue Conference and Challenge.

The team took part in a week of activities, which culminated in a challenge day where top performers were recognised.
The conference attracted over 110 firefighters from around the United States with the team of nine from Public Safety Training & Response Group the only international participants.

Some of the new learnings from the conference included:
• Continuous loop combat swimming
• Developing better raft paddling skills
• New innovations in high clearance vehicles
• Urban flood operations and considerations
• Boat maintenance skills and techniques
• Kiting a rescue boat (pioneered by LA County in a live rescue event)

Teams undertook a comprehensive debrief each day to share the learnings, the team also got to put their new skills to the test at a real location off campus at Low Head Dam.

The challenges were a series of individual and team skills including:
• Advanced throw bag skills
• Motorboat operations
• Team and individual eddy swims
• Accessing victims and boats from bridges using a combination of vertical rescue and water rescue skills

The team did well across all activities and included a bronze medal performance by Paxton Barr in the Individual Eddy Swim event (see picture below).

Bronze medal eddy swim

Public Safety Training & Response Special Manager Operations and Safety Trevor Arnold said, “We are continually placing an emphasis on learning the most progressive fire and swiftwater techniques and attending the OSU Fire service Training Swiftwater Rescue Conference is an important way we can deliver better outcomes for the communities we serve here in Australia.”

Trevor adds, “Advanced training like this not only allows us to save more lives, but also helps our people perform at a higher level in critical and dangerous situations, protecting themselves and the people they rescue.”

The team is looking forward to Oklahoma in 2024.

Share this post