No train, no gain

On April 4 and 5, the 8th Annual Heavy Rescue 101 was held at the Huron County Fairgrounds. This training event is sponsored by the EHOVE Adult Career Center’s Fire Academy and the Northern Ohio Fraternal Order of Leatherheads Society (F.O.O.L.S.), a Firefighter organization dedicated to the traditions of the Fire Service, and preparing the future of the Fire Service.

The Northern Ohio F.O.O.L.S. attendees are fed, hydrated, and receive the best training all for free due the commitment of this organization. The Huron County Fair Board has donated the use of the fairgrounds for this event since 2007. EHOVE Fire Academy provides instructors, equipment, and continuing education credits to attendees.
This is the 8th year of this training event. To date, over 2100 Firefighters and responders have trained at this free training event. This is the only known free training event of this kind. There are other similar events with fees of $350 to $600 per attendee. The objectives of the event are to educate attendees in vehicle extrication, tool use, vehicle identification/hazards, working with tow operators, vehicle stabilization, and more.

“Without the dedication of the many people, organizations, and companies involved, we could not offer this one of a kind training,” said EHOVE Fire Training Coordinator Jamie Starcher.

In the past 8 years, attendees have come from 11 states including Canada and one from the UK. This year's event brought responders from Maryland, Texas, Illinois, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana. Responders from 67 Fire Departments were trained.

Industry representatives from rescue equipment manufacturers brought the latest equipment for the attendees to train with. Holmatro Rescue Systems, T-N-T Rescue Equipment, and Hurst Rescue Equipment were on site allowing trainees to use their equipment to learn new skills and perfect old ones.
Instructors from Maryland, Texas, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and EHOVE Fire Academy were on site to train attendees on extrication and rescue. Stations were set up to simulate numerous vehicle accident scenes. This training included: basic vehicle extrication, intermediate vehicle extrication, advanced vehicle extrication, bus extrication and commercial vehicle extrication. The attendees were free to move about the training site and spend as much time at each station as desired. The basic vehicle extrication station was very popular with 29 cars being used at that station alone.

Milliron Auto Parts from Mansfield, hauled 52 cars (after they removed glass, fuel, oil, and fluids) to the Huron County Fairgrounds for use in the training event. The cars were hauled by tractor trailer six at a time. Milliron hauled 2 loads a day starting on April 1 through April 4. They then hauled the 52 mangled cars back to Mansfield from April 7 through April 9. We were able to load 8 cars for the return trip. This donation of equipment and labor to this training event is an example of the dedication that owner Carl Milliron has made to the Fire Service.  Milliron Auto Parts have hauled vehicles for use in this training event for 4 years.

John Miller with Miller Mobile Wrenching (Norwalk), donated his time and equipment to haul in the commercial vehicles used in the training. R&L Carriers donated a commercial vehicle, Ohio Eastern Express donated a semi tractor and trailer for use also. The Northern Ohio F.O.O.L.S. purchased a bus for use. Miller Mobile Wrenching took care of towing all commercial equipment to the site and also removed the commercial vehicles at the end of the training. Miller Mobile Wrenching has been involved in this event for 8 years.

Rich's Towing (North Ridgeville) was on site demonstrating their air bag recovery system for use in commercial vehicle stabilization and moving to assist Firefighters with rescue.

Heitche Boys Crushing (Collins), Hanko Construction (Wakeman), Fishbaugh Farms (New London), Dalton Farms (Wakeman), and Cory Case Construction (Norwalk) donated equipment used to load/unload, move vehicles, create some of the most challenging accident scenes, and clean up. These companies have been involved in this event for 8 years.

On April 4, we conducted a 3 hour training session relating to motor vehicle accidents and rescue. This year's event was titled "Response Safety". Sgt. Tony Myers of the Ohio State Highway Patrol lectured on the hazards, legal issues/responsibilities, and incident/roadway safety. Responding to and returning from emergency scenes is the most dangerous function of emergency responders. Firefighters, EMTs, and tow operators learned from Sgt. Myers case studies, actual "struck by" incident investigations, and much more. Jamie Starcher, EHOVE Fire Academy instructor, finished the evening with training and documentation for emergency vehicle operators. There were 135 responders that attended this training from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

On April 5, the "hands on training" was conducted from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with 203 responders participating.

An album of photos from the event can be viewed at  More information about EHOVE Adult Career Center's Fire Academy is available on the school's website and academy's Facebook page.