Rumford firefighters hone skills


RUMFORD – Recognizing a need to better acquaint their call force with power tools and aerial ladders, Rumford firefighters conducted a four-hour training on Saturday beside River Street.

Department training officer Lt. Rob Dixon of Andover said early Saturday afternoon at the vent saw segment that the objective is to teach new skills while other firefighters practiced old skills.

“Because of feedback we got, we realized we had some issues with our call force, like unfamiliarity with power tools. So, this was an opportunity to work with them,” he said.

“A lot of these guys don’t go on a ladder much, so, today, it was also getting them used to the ladder,” firefighter Donald Coulombe added.

Other training included power-saw maintenance, practicing using roof vent saws, and backing apparatus, including using an exhaust system that was recently installed at the central station on upper Congress Street.

While out on the end of the aerial ladder 70 feet above the ground, firefighters were coached on how to use the department’s chimney chain to unblock plugged chimneys and knock down built-up creosote during chimney fires.

Junior firefighters also participated in the session.

Future training events will be held on Saturdays, Dixon added, because they had problems with trainings on Mondays.

“We kept getting called out in the middle of training,” he said.