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Elizabethton Fire Department provides regional rookie ladder training

The Elizabethton Fire Department carried on its rich tradition of providing rookie firefighters the ins and outs of the proper use and safety of using ladders in the course of their job.
There were 21 rookies from departments reaching as far as Morristown to Bristol and points in between that came to Elizabethton on Thursday morning as members of the EFD set up four stations of instruction as well as a knot-tying station where a group of rookies could catch their breath and rest between station changes.
“They are learning how to carry and set up ladders - straight ladders, extension ladders, and a 35-foot ladder,” said Elizabethton Deputy Fire Chief Andy Hardin. “Normally we usually do the aerial truck but it’s in service right now. They are learning the proper way to set up and deploy ladders and how to work off of them. This will continue into Friday where they will be flowing water of the ladders and climbing the aerial in Kingsport."
The rookies go to different departments for their rookie school training and Elizabethton has been the stopping point for ladder training in recent years.
It is important that the rookies at least have a basic knowledge of how to handle ladders in a non-emergency setting so that when the time comes to face a real test they will at least have some knowledge to fall back on.
“Every part of our job has to deal with safety because when you look at what we do when we go in putting out fires, we have to do everything the safest possible way that we can. Each department will do everything a little bit different but this is a basis on how to do everything safely in what we do,” said Hardin.
Hardin added that when they go back to their departments that they train all the time to help the lessons and tips they pick up in training to be retained as training is an ongoing effort for firefighters.
Another side benefit for the EFD is that in training these rookies, it serves as a refresher course for the department as members go over the lessons with the newer rookies.
“It’s good for the guys that are teaching,” Hardin said.
All photos are by Ivan Sanders.

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