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Posted on: March 14, 2023

Sumter County Fire & EMS Special Ops Takes Part in Multi-County Training Event

Hazmat training for fire departments

Sumter County Fire & EMS hosted a three-day special operations training event with Citrus County Fire Rescue and Hernando County Fire Rescue. These rescue agencies hold combined training annually in areas such as trench rescue, confined space rescue, hazardous materials, structural collapse and others. These low-frequency, high-risk calls can happen at any time, which require training in order to successfully handle the situation.

The agencies encountered three scenarios each day: trench, confined space and hazmat. Crews handled each scenario as if it was an actual emergency call and were not given advanced information regarding each call, according to Jeremy Feil, Division Chief of program management, Sumter County Fire & EMS. “It put crews and equipment to the test,” Feil said.

In the trench scenario, a subcontractor was digging to place a storage tank when one of the walls collapsed on a worker. In the confined space scenario, a worker was caught in a storage tank. In hazmat, workers noted “smoke” coming from a warehouse. Rather than a fire, it actually was a chemical leak. Each day, teams received training for each event. Crews rescued personnel as well as treating the incident.

“All three agencies worked seamlessly together,” Feil said. 

The multi-agency training event has been so successful that representatives from each county is looking to make it a quarterly event. 

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