On Saturday March 12th, a second wave of nearly 20 interior certified members with the Bedford Fire Department received training on our newly-purchased bailout harness and descent systems. The equipment is now mandated in departments across Westchester, and allows for firefighters to escape from dangerous and potentially life threatening situations when battling structure fires.
Training for the systems was held by Fire Ground Technologies, which focuses specifically on the Gemtor harness, and Petzl descending equipment (both currently in use by the FDNY). The equipment is proven to work well and last in tough situations, and includes a hook made of forged steel and 50 feet of Kevlar roping kept at the waist of the bunker gear.
Each member practiced tying the hook and rope off to structures, and also performed straight hooks of window sills to simulate bail out situations. These evolutions were conducted on the company's two story trailer, and were performed in full bunker gear with SCBA packs, and eventually blindfolded. After an eight hour day of training and ten "slides" per each member, 19 members of the Bedford Fire Department successfully received their training and certification in the new equipment.