East Franklin VFD Offers Water Rescue Class For First Responders

East Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Department held an ice water rescue class last January. They will now offer another training class tomorrow. (KP File Photo)

East Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Department will be offering a special training class on Wednesday, July 18.

“The class that we are going to be offering is Water Rescue for the First Responder,” East Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Department Captain Chris Beck said. “The course meets the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) guidelines for the awareness level. There are three different levels for certification with awareness being the first level. The second is the operation level and the third is the technician level.”

The class itself will be free of charge and is being offered to anyone that is affiliated with a first responder agency within Armstrong County.

“According to the Fish and Boat Commission, drowning is one of the leading causes of death for swift water rescue,” Beck said. “This class will give first responders an idea on how to handle an incident in any sort of water related emergency.

The department recently purchased and is working to fully equip an inflatable water rescue boat for incidents of flooding and water-related emergencies. With as much coverage area we have alone with the Allegheny River, the department thought this would be an excellent addition to our fleet of equipment.”

According to Beck, the all-volunteer department is interested in seeing what the turnout for the class will be because they will offer more classes in the future if there is enough interest.

“This is an entry level class,” Beck said. “If we have enough interest we are going to try and schedule two additional classes. One class will be a water rescue and emergency response class which would meet the operations level of certification and then eventually an emergency boat operations and rescue class which would meet the technician level of certification.”

The class will be taught by Don Straw, an instructor for Butler County Community College. It will be held at the East Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Department this Wednesday at 7 PM. It is suggested for those who are affiliated with a first responder agency in Armstrong County that may encounter a water rescue in their line of duty. If you wish to sign up, you can send a message to the East Franklin Volunteer Fire Department Facebook page or Mike Kutch at 724-664-3427.


by KP intern Kyle Predmore