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Getting ready for fire season

Raton hosts training for field and wild land firefighters

by Lillian Eva Lieske
RATON — Raton Fire & Emergency Services Fire Training Academy Station 4 hosted S130 Field Day/Wild land training on Sunday May 6 from 8 am to 1:30 pm.  This is training for fire fighters (paid & volunteer), to gain knowledge from instructors and to participate in in-the-field scenarios.  Those fire fighters who attend the classroom/ hands-on, training obtain a certificate from NMSF (New Mexico State Forestry).
The class covers four days (two weekends, Sat & Sun), with a field day on the last day.  The introduction to the course includes instruction on logistics and overview, and basic terminology.  Other units cover firefighter preparedness, ICS overview, resources’ types, risk management- watch out situations and fire orders, fire shelters, potential hazards, and human factors on the fire line.  This course also includes transportation safety, and hand tools.  There are a few more sections explaining hazardous materials awareness and how to secure the fire line.
Training is required for all personnel prior to certification as a firefighter (FFT2) under the Wild land and Prescribed Fire Qualification System Guide, PMS 310-1.  The purpose of this course is to train new firefighters in basic firefighting skills, while also providing a refresher for experienced fighters.  Those firefighters who successfully complete this course and the capacity test will qualify to suppress wild land fires while under close supervision.
The fire departments present were: Clayton FD, Angel Fire FD, New Mexico State Forestry-Las Vegas, Raton Fire & Emergency Services, Springer Volunteer FD, and Colfax County FD District 8.  The course was instructed by Jerry Beddows.  Beddows has over 50 years in the fire service.  His experience ranges from district fire marshall to the forest service.  Beddows retired from the USFS, where he served for 35 years.
The day ended with the entire crew in attendance for a picture with Beddows.  Each firefighter was presented with their certificate of completion.