More than 20 firefighters from Rumford, Andover, Bethel and Mexico trained together in rapid intervention teams Saturday to execute mayday firefighter rescues. Rumford Falls Times photo by Bruce Farrin

RUMFORD — More than 20 firefighters from Rumford, Andover, Bethel and Mexico trained together in rapid intervention teams Saturday to execute mayday firefighter rescues.

A rapid intervention team enters a Kerr Street building in Rumford on Saturday as area firefighters practice how to rescue a fallen firefighter. Rumford Falls Times photo by Bruce Farrin

Firefighters conducted their training at a tax-acquired home at 38 Kerr St.

Rumford Fire Chief Chris Reed said windows were blackened, the building cleared of debris for safety and smoke from a machine introduced for realism. He noted the departments do not have available buildings to conduct this valuable training very often.

Reed added the building is not structurally sound and will eventually be torn down by the town.

The exercise consisted of rapid intervention teams of three firefighters in their gear using oxygen on rescues in three levels of the building.

Mitch Dunbar, a junior firefighter in Rumford, volunteered to play the role of the trapped firefighter issuing the mayday calls.

Reed said it is essential area firefighters train together on how to handle mayday calls.

Several elements must come together when rescuing a firefighter, officials said. Such rescues require extensive training and practice to prevent mistakes, hesitations or delays that could prove tragic.

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A rapid intervention team secures Mitch Dunbar, a Rumford junior firefighter who played the role of a trapped firefighter issuing a mayday call, during Saturday’s training exercises.

A rapid intervention team secures Mitch Dunbar, a Rumford junior firefighter who played the role of a trapped firefighter issuing a mayday call, during Saturday’s training exercises.


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