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Fire Academy Brings Together Regional Helicopter Community with Unique Training Program

BY LYN BURKS It’s no secret that certain parts of the

Midwest U.S. are a hotbed of helicopter activity, and Ohio is no exception. This is especially true when it comes to sec- tors like EMS, Law Enforcement, and Electronic News Gathering (ENG), where a variety of helicopters, from a variety of operators are literally operat- ing in the back yards of the communities they serve. The concept of hundreds of local

communities having to work with dozens of different helicopters poses real challenges for Public Safety Agencies. Thousands of times per year, the world of the helicopter comes down out of the atmosphere and mixes closely with the world of the people working on the streets. Every time this occurs, risk is increased and safety becomes para- mount.

The only way for dozens of Public

Safety Agencies to work safely with dozens of different helicopters is through training and familiarization. One Ohio Training Organization has taken the bull by the horns and has cre- ated a successful annual training event which brings together the public safety agencies and the helicopter operators.

oper of this training program, recalls that a great deal of his training was on Aircraft

Identification, Access, Shut-

down, and Air Crew removal. “Typically, firefighters outside of the airport setting do not receive aircraft training, yet these same aircraft are flying into and through our communities on a daily basis.” Hence the creation of the “Helicopter Identification & Aircrew Extraction/ Ingress Training.” The goal at The EHOVE Fire

The Erie Huron Ottawa Vocational Educational (EHOVE) Fire Academy is located in Milan, Ohio.

As a Retired U.S. Air Force Reserve firefighter, Pete Zimmermann, the devel-

Academy is to train local first responders on these same procedures and build real familiarization among the ground agen- cies that are likely to be working closely with the helicopter operators in the region. The 2011 Inaugural Helicopter Identification and Egress Procedure class was followed up by a “Fly-In” which pro- vided a training opportunity of a life time. Eighty-five public safety represen- tatives from three States descended on the EHOVE campus to receive four hours of instruction on basic aircraft

APRIL 2012


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