Members rely on extensive training to ensure readiness
Alky/Poly Operator Darrel Vaught is the rope rescue team lead and has served on the team for about 10 years. Like all of the ERT members, Vaught is very passionate about his role as a medical/rescue technician. He said the 3,500 man hours of training the team completes each year takes them away from family and other work activities, but it’s crucial to delivering successful responses.
“Rope rescue is a high risk and low frequency task, so we need to be prepared,” he said. “Ongoing training is paramount to maintaining this perishable skill.”
Training occurs 12 times/year, and each member of the team attends roughly six training sessions/year. Most of the sessions take place over two consecutive days.
RPS Outside Operator Nathan Yount serves as the medical rescue team lead. He worked part-time as a firefighter in addition to volunteering with the Mt. Erie Fire Department before joining PSR as an operator. Yount said the most challenging aspect of serving on the ERT is staying up-to-date on the skills needed to respond successfully.
“There’s a lot of peer-to-peer training that goes on outside of the formal training,” he said. “I love it when I see more experienced members mentoring and coaching newer members. We’re always looking for ways to make each other better. It’s continuous improvement at its finest.”
Joe Solomon, who serves as PSR’s Emergency Response Coordinator and the site’s ERT lead, said, “I am very proud to have each and every one of our responders on the teams. I’d also like to extend a giant ‘thank you’ to all of the employees who regularly give up their personal time to cover for our ERT members when they need to attend trainings.”