Fireboat Operator Checkouts put Training to the Test
Thursday, November 19, 2015
The Fireboat has been in Delaware City since September 12th and since that time 25 scheduled trainings have been held along with 15 custom or small group trainings for those who can't make the scheduled ones. In that time period of 67 days, 29 members have attended these training classes. To date, 16 members are Certified Deck Hands, 5 are operators and 3 of those 5 are Certified Trainers. Tonight, Shawn Wagner and Paul Johnson were scheduled for their checkout as Fireboat Operators. Each were given an incident scenario to Rescue a small craft [Marine 2] with two occupants on board. Each of the calls was different so the report had either one or both parties injured, in the water, etc. The proved to be about as REAL as it gets. Operating in the Dark brings on a whole set of issues in itself, however on this night add in a driving rain, a 16 knot wind, dense fog and near zero visibilty and you have to put skill and technology together.
Both Paul and Shawn handled their crew consisting of Chief Jamie Rosseel, Tim Merlino, Trainers Capt Bill Sahm and Capt Allan MacKenzie with calm concise directions. The weather was so deplorable at one point that the crew of Marine 2, Career Staff/FB15 Trainer Luke Powell and Capt Dave Hall could not figure out where they were. Luke told me he was 6 feet away from Dave in the boat and lost sight of him in the fog. Between the rain and intense weather, we actually rescued Luke and Dave and ended up towing Marine 2 back to Delaware City. The Rescue evolutions were conducted between 18:30 and 22:30. Congratulations to Shawn and Paul on becoming the next operators of Fireboat 15. This was a fun and intense training/Rescue evolution tonight. Everyone was able to see first hand the awesome capabilities of Fireboat 15. See you at the next training.