Cedar County First-Responders and the Stockton Volunteer Fire Department spent the evening of Wednesday, June 19, participating in a joint training endeavor as part of the Cedar County area’s mutual-aid practice wherein different emergency departments utilize one another’s equipment, personnel and training resources.  

SVFD’s chief emeritus Hank Smith made an administrative appearance at the meeting’s onset to let the department know he returned from a recent medical procedure with good results and is recovering well.

All in attendance welcomed Smith, shared kind words of encouragement and commented on the importance of his continued presence within the department and first-responder communities.

After acknowledging Smith’s visit, Raymond Heryford, SVFD’s assistant chief and training officer shared a brief breakdown of the training’s agenda and discussed various equipment to be used in the evening’s efforts.

LaDell Heryford, Cedar County First-Responder president and Cedar County Office of Emergency Management director Arlo Rupke also took part in the monthly training.

LaDell Heryford acted as both instructor and victim over the course of the multi-hour training event.

Rupke participated in water retrieval and injured victim extraction drills with both SVFD and first-responders — noteworthy of mention is Rupke’s uncanny ability to play a very convincing inebriated, uncooperative and injured victim in an effort to simulate real-life rescue scenarios.

The joint training exercises were attended by more than fifteen local first-responders and city firefighters.

The monthly training sessions are a newly-instituted practice implemented by fire chief Kenney Daniels and serve as a means to expose area emergency personnel with all facets of emergency and rescue situations, as well as familiarizing volunteer rescue team members to regular use of various types of emergency response equipment.

The specific drills conducted during Wednesday’s training were performed in correlation with the region’s current high levels of water and continued rainfall in an effort to remain vigilant and prepared during ongoing flood-stage conditions.

Daniels said his department also is making plans to work with the El Dorado Springs Fire Department later this summer and training exercises will involve simulated vehicle accident situations as well as the use of extrication equipment.

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