Tarkington firefighters are constantly training to provide the residents of the Prairie the best fire protection available. In addition to attending schools such as Liberty County, Livingston and Texas A&M and even hosting the Prairie Fire Expo and Training Conference, Tarkington firefighters often train at the station.
Here, the latest rookie class spent a couple of Saturday afternoons training to become the best firefighters in Liberty County. Rookies J.D. Ard, Daniel Dolan, Slater Hallum, and Bob Sickler, joined by firefighters Jeff Batchelor and Kyle Boegler trained on a variety of subjects, culminating in a live burn simulation of both a vehicle fire and a structure fire led by Assistant Chief Dalton Lee Gregory, Captain Albert Crawford, and firefighter D.J. Edwards. TVFD is always recruiting new members, so if you think you have what it takes to be a firefighter, stop by the station any Monday night at 19:00.
More TVFD training videos can be found at YouTube.
Tarkington VFD doesn't just train to fight fires. In the picture below, firefighters train on vehicle extrication, practicing cutting a victim out of their wrecked car.
TVFD also sends firefighters to outside schools to learn the latest techniques in vehicle extrication. Here are some photographs from ExtricationFest 2007 held at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. These photos were from the Advanced course and simulate various scenarios requiring creative stabilization and extrication methods.
Being able to work with other fire departments is essential, since many departments, including TVFD, often request mutual aid from their neighbors. In the photos below, TVFD hosted a training session with Cypress Lakes and Kenefick VFDs, training to fight both structure and vehicle fires.
It is also very important that firefighters keep abreast of the latest firefighting technologies. One interesting "new" development is the use of CAFS (Compressed Air Foam System). Though CAFS has been around for over two decades, it is only in the last several years that it has seen widespread acceptance in the fire service. The main advantage of CAFS is the ability to extinguish fires faster with less water. The downside is the cost, often adding $30,000 to $50,000 to the already sky-high cost of fire apparatus. In August 2006, Tarkington VFD had a Darley AutoCAFS demo brought in. The pictures below show Tarkington and Cypress Lakes firefighters using this unit to fight both structure and vehicle fires.