Continual training for Sumter County Fire and EMS (SCFEMS) personnel never stops. It takes extensive skills to do the job correctly, and to make sure both the victims and Fire and EMS personnel are as safe as possible.
One type of training for SCFEMS is Vehicle and Machinery Rescue (VMR), which trains rescuers on how to remove a victim as safe and as quickly as possible. The Special Operations Team (SOT) from SCFEMS regularly practices these advanced skills and shares their skill sets in joint training exercises so all Sumter County Fire and EMS personnel know how to integrate SOT in an emergency incident.
“The Special Operations Team trains monthly so that we are prepared to rescue and use our advanced skills when the need arises on an emergency scene,” said Damon Allen, Deputy Fire Chief of Operations. “The annual SOT drill tests all the team’s capabilities, and allows us to identify our strengths, weaknesses and equipment we need to improve the patient outcomes.”
The County also uses outside experts and internal specialists to conduct trainings for SOT. The SCFEMS Special Operations Coordinator manages the training and ensures the most current best practices, lessons learned from past trainings, and recent emergency incidents are fully incorporated.
Other training programs Sumter County Fire and EMS personnel have includes Wide Area Search, Large Animal Rescue, Confined Space Rescue, Building Collapse, Low/high Angle Rope Rescue and Water Rescue.
Training is an important part of Sumter County Fire and EMS’s continued accreditation through the Center for Public Safety Excellence.