Prairie Fire Expo and Training Conference

The weekend of Friday, September 21, 2007 through Sunday, September 23rd, Tarkington Volunteer Fire Department hosted the 2nd Annual Prairie Fire Expo and Training Conference at Tarkington High School. Students from as far away as Midland attended a variety of courses including Big Rig Rescue, NIMS 300, HazMat: Operations, and Instructional Techniques for Company Officers.

The Big Rig Rescue class was presented by Billy Leach, Jr. and Lee Junkins and hosted by TVFD, Smith Towing, and Milstead Automotive. Leach is the nationally recognized developer of the Big Rig Rescue course and has taught at FDIC (Fire Department Instructor’s Conference), Firehouse Magazine’s Expo, and at FDNY’s Technical Rescue School. Junkins is the founder of MidSouth Rescue, host of ExtricationFest in Fort Worth, and a feature writer for FireLink.Com.

Highlights Saturday included the Prairie Fire Expo, which showcased fire apparatus from American LaFrance, Crimson, and Ferrara and gear and equipment from MES and Metro Fire. Tarkington and Kenefick fire departments also showed off their new trucks: Tarkington’s Tanker 51 and Kenefick’s Booster 842.

The main event Saturday was the hand-on exercises in the Big Rig Rescue class as students handled a variety of scenarios dealing with different types of big rig accidents, including scenarios with a log truck, a propane tanker, and a schoolbus. Students learned the various techniques dealing with stabilizing the vehicles and extricating the victims, using various tools provided by Paratech, TNT Rescue and ResQJack (courtesy of Wilson Fire), and Lancier (courtesy of MES). On Sunday, they learned the various dangers associated with vehicle airbags, hybrids, and alternative fuel vehicles.

Over 50 students garnered valuable training and experiences to take back to their home departments, which included Hardin, Hwy 321, Plum Grove, Woodpecker, Midland, Clute, Fulton, Northeast, Eastex, Cresson, Oakhurst, Sweeney, Deer Park, Kenefick, and Tarkington.