Airlife landing provides hands-on experience to Fire Academy students
Students from the Rock Canyon High School Fire Academy landed a real-life training experience when an Air Life Denver helicopter landed on schools grounds. The pilot and crew proceeded to give the trainees a complete air rescue presentation and hands-on demonstration.
“Firefighters need to know how to land them, how to load them, and this happens a lot in seriously traumatic situations in a municipal district and rural areas so it’s a viable training,” stated Rock Canyon High School Fire Chief George Piccone.
The fire rescue trainees coordinated the entire exercise under the guidance of Chief Piccone. They designated an LZ (landing zone), cordoned off the area for safety and guided the helicopter in for the landing.
Once on the ground, the flight crew gave the students a presentation centered on how to be safe around a running helicopter, though for this exercise, the aircraft was not running. They demonstrated how to exit the aircraft, where to stand while the blades are rotating, and how to load a patient onto a gurney and load them into the aircraft.
“It’s kind of a humbling thing when you talk about different dangers and you realize how dangerous things can be in an emergency situation. To be a firefighter you need to collaborate and trust other people,” stated high school senior trainee Collin Heller.
Chief Piccone says that this program is only 1 of 2 in the entire state of Colorado at the high school level. He added that it those who successfully complete the course are eligible for college credit. Piccone also says that there are valuable lessons to be learned even for those that choose not to pursue a career in fire rescue.
“People in this sort of field, they want to think about if they do something, what could happen, what would be the results in different scenarios as they change the variable…that’s an enduring understanding that they’ll take with them no matter what field they go into,” concludes Chief Piccone.