OCFR provided vehicles for state certified extrication course

OKEECHOBEE — The Okeechobee County Fire Rescue conducted advanced extrication training over the past several weeks after receiving a donation of 12 vehicles from Total Roadside Services Towing and Recovery, greatly reducing the overall cost of the training block.

According to OCFR Captain Justin Hazellief, the course was taught over a two-week block with the first iteration having taken place July 9-12. The second half of the training occurred during July 23-26, and provided a more in-depth look at the advanced extrication techniques for those victims heavily entrapped.

The course was a total of 40 hours of class time. OCFR had 26 personnel become state certified in vehicle and machinery rescue (VMR), as well as eight others who utilized the course as a continuing education unit since they were already certified. VMR is one of five disciplines that are required to maintain the OCFR Technical Rescue Team. The other disciplines are rope rescue, confined space, building collapse and trench rescue.

OCFR was able to provide instructors for the course from within its department in an effort to save costs aside from the vehicle donation. The instructors for the course were Capt. Hazellief and Brain Anderson. Mr. Anderson was a volunteer and is considered a subject matter expert having retired from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.

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