May 2, 2011 (San Diego's East County) -- On Sunday May 1, 2011, a training event gave East County agencies an opportunity to work together to improve mutual-aid responses. In addition the Multi Agency Drill provides fire agencies such as CALFIRE, Sycuan and San Diego Rural a rare opportunity to participate in a commercial structure drill. The San Miguel Fire District hosted the Multi Company/Multi-Agency Drill. The training took place at the former Blockbuster Video on Campo Road and Conrad Drive, Casa De Oro.
All personnel from Heartland Fire & Rescue Department, serving the cities of El Cajon, La Mesa, and Lemon Grove, participated in vehicle extrication training. The special training was made possible by C&D Towing, which provided 20 vehicles for emergency personnel to practice vehicle extrication & rescue techniques.
Heartland crews have been using new Amkus cutters (Jaws of Life) and a new metal cutting saw to see how they perform. "Both of these tools will be a tremendous benefit in rescues involving strongly built new vehicles that will be hitting the road in the near future," said Heartland spokesperson Monica Zech.
She added, "With the continued changes in vehicle construction, this type of training is invaluable. Firefighters have been able to use several new tools and techniques to cut the cars apart quickly and efficiently."