ELIZABETHTOWN — The Elizabethtown Fire Department is climbing the ladder of success.
Last week, the department received notification that it had been awarded certification as a medium rescue provider by the North Carolina Association of Rescue and Emergency Medical Services.
“It was a lot of work and a long process, but we’re pretty excited about it,” commented Nick West, Elizabethtown fire chief.
The accomplishment puts the department in an elite rank. The Elizabethtown Fire Department is the first department in Bladen County to receive medium recue provider certification, and they join only 140 other fire departments in North Carolina with the designation.
Medium rescue provider certification means department personnel have received the training necessary to provide for safe and effective victim management related to highway behicle accidents, high and low angle rope rescues, water rescues, and farm machinery-related emergencies. In addition, it means the department has acquired a full complement of technical resue equipment.
“Your department, personnel, and the citizens of Elizabethtown and Bladen County should be proud of this high achievement,” said Stephen Smith, membership coordinator with the North Carolina Association of Rescue and Emergency Medical Services. “It is indeed an honor to be recognized at this level of professional rescue and EMS service.”
The certification is the culmination of a year-long process of training classes and equipment acquisition that culminated with an inspection on Sept. 8 by the Rescue Assocation. Official notification of certification was received Sept. 19.
“With this rescue certification, the Elizabethtown Fire Department also becomes part of a state-wide resource list that will potentially benefit other communities in the event of natural disasters,” West said.
The rescue standards and certification process is administered by the North Carolina Association of Rescue and Emergency Medical Services. The technical rescue standards include NFPA 1006 — a personnel standard — and NFPA 1670 — an operations and training for technical search incidents standard. The minimum standards for rescue certification require that at least eight members of the department be trained as a state certified Vehicle and Machinery Rescue Technician. The Technical Rescue training program consists of 16 classes over a total of 168 class hours.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing email@example.com.