A live fire exercise by members of the Lincoln County Fire Protection District will be held this Saturday at the two-story training facility in Panaca.

Panaca Fire Chief and County Sheriff Kerry Lee said not only are they going to have the live fire session, but on Oct. 4 will conduct a training session for all first responders put on by the Lincoln County Power District.

All the volunteer fire departments in the county have been invited to attend the training this Saturday as well as White Pine County.

Lee said, “We’ll do some burns about 9:30 to 10 a.m., start some of the rooms on fire, send some people in to extinguish those and do rescue. We have already had some rescue training with some of our EMS volunteers.”

The instructor is Beau Carlson, a state certified trainer with the Panaca Volunteer Fire District.

Lee explained, “We’ll have some briefings and classroom sessions, then the live fire exercise featuring different scenarios, upstairs, downstairs and maybe even simulate a basement fire, which means going from the top floor of the facility to the ground floor. We will probably do some rescue and may even have a ‘fireman down’ situation.”

A luncheon will be served afterwards.

Lee added he knows some people will not be able to attend because of other plans for Saturday they may have already made.

Having such training able to be done in Lincoln County now is very beneficial to the firefighters he noted, not having to go so far out of town anymore. “And once we get it going, they really enjoy it, because they feel more confident in their ability to be able to respond to something like this. Real time, real life experience.”

The training session on Oct. 4 with the Lincoln County Power District, Lee explained, will deal with responding to incidents that could involve live power. “They’ll talk to us about safety, when responding to a scene, like what we had in the bombing.”

The bombing in Panaca July 13 did involve downed live power lines sparking on the ground.  Not only were first responders there, he said, but the public also walking around and unaware the lines were energized.

“We are definitely going to talk with the power district about the things we need to do as first responders to protect ourselves and others in such situations. It’s extremely important to be able to assess the scene quickly and know what you are dealing with. It might be a dangerous chemical or explosives or downed power lines, or something else.”

Power District Manager Dave Luttrell said they will have  Hector Silva from Electrical Safety Consultants in El Paso, Texas as the instructor.

“This is the first time we have done this that I know of in recent times. We’ll be training on working safely around downed power lines, or other electric hazards such as transformer on fire and other situations. We will also review local coordination procedures so everyone knows who to call in what events.”