The pandemic has made many have to adapt to regulations and guidelines, and fire departments were no different
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -The COVID 19 pandemic and changing CDC guidelines have led to constant adapting and change for everyone, including fire departments. The pandemic has made training volunteers difficult. Megan Cole has more on how they’ve adapted those trainings.
COVID-19 has made many places adapt to regulations, including how fire departments train volunteer firefighters.
“There are a lot of things that have been mandated to perform and check off and we’ve always done it as a group of 20 people in the one building. Those things you know have now been adapted to break them down into smaller groups.”
“We’ve had to restrict how we get our people together or even if and when. We’ve had to learn how to train people on a computer format such as zoom like we’re using right now our members have had to adjust and understand how they can learn in this kind of environment.”
“Where we’ve switched to a combination career and paid call department, we don’t really have a choice about our meetings. There’s a lot of stuff that paid call is done monthly that we have to do weekly and a lot of our people are new or newer so we’ve had to follow a lot of restrictions which is put extra stress on training that’s already stressful enough to begin with.”
They say that while they’ve been able to do some trainings, other they haven’t been able too.
“Some of the trainings would be like pump classes, SCVA classes which would be the air tanks the air packs we wear the live fire training where we’re in close quarters we’re training off equipment in between evolutions some of that is very difficult to be done because there isn’t always a good opportunity to sanitize everything in between evolutions.”
“So there are several trainings that we haven’t been able to do that we all as a region, county or as departments individually would like to do that have been postponed just for safety reasons the aspect of what we’re trying to do here and keep everybody safe with COVID precautions.”
While they’ve been able to adapt and still offer the necessary trainings, departments say that one big concern is the lack of people interested in volunteering.
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