Employees train in putting out fires

Factory workers receive fire training
Arkansas Fire Training Academy, Jonesboro (Source: KAIT-TV)
Arkansas Fire Training Academy, Jonesboro (Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A group of Region 8 men traveled to Jonesboro to receive some specialized training that will help keep their coworkers safe.

The men from Viskase Corporation in Osceola are training at the Arkansas Fire Academy.

Battalion Chief Marty Hamrick with the Jonesboro Fire Department said they're learning a lot.

"We're going over your basic PPE, your air pack," Hamrick said. "We're going into how to move hose lines, make them more efficient with that. Later in the week we'll get into some live burns and actually teach them how to fight fires in structures."

Jock Hattenhauer has been with Viskase Corporation for 39 years and part of the corporation's fire brigade for 25.

"I feel like it's important not only for the company but for each individual to know what's going on," Hattenhauer said. "We've been trained in CPR, firefighting, rescue and confined space incidents."

Hamrick said fire brigades used to be more common.

"You don't see it a whole lot anymore but some places find it more beneficial to have somebody in house to keep small fires small and that's what we're looking for and that's what we're training these guys for," Hamrick said.

Hamrick said the Viskase Fire Brigade was getting the most out of their chance to train together.

"It's typically harder for industry folks to get together and train," Hamrick said. "Their primary job is producing product at the factory or doing maintenance on the factory."

Hattenhauer agreed.

"Today we're refreshing our memory on firefighting skills within the company," Hattenhauer said. "To better protect our employees."

Hamrick said it's beneficial to know how to respond to an emergency so you're prepared when it happens.

"It's always a good idea," Hamrick said. "Whether it's a fire brigade or maybe you just have some first responders that take care of medical emergencies in house. Our Arkansas Fire Academy offers plenty of instruction for industry, confine space, hazmat, firefighting, all that as well. All you  need to do is contact the Arkansas Fire Training Academy in Camden, Arkansas and they can hook them up with whatever they need."

The 40 Viskase employees who are training will be ready for emergencies in case they happen.

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