Wildland Firefighters Tune Up & Polish Skills in Fire Engine Operator Training Workshop

Story by Javonne Goodman, Utah Digital Media Manager

In partnership with the Unified Fire Authority and Utah National Guard, firefighters attended the interagency fire engine operator training workshop on May 25. Since 2012, this annual fire engine training has been hosted at Camp Williams in Bluffdale, Utah. Camp Williams is the ideal location for hands-on training that accurately represents the topography, terrain, and vegetation present across public lands in the lower elevations of the western United States.

A collage of photos with firefighters standing on a hill with a fire engine, a scenic view of the landscape at Camp Williams with mountain on the horizon, and a fire engine driving up a dirt road.

Fire engines are the backbone of initial attack fire suppression, and fire training is vital to the safety and success of firefighters. This specialized training program is an intensive week-long course designed to enhance the knowledge, skills and abilities of firefighters with approximately three to four years of wildfire experience and features scenarios with real-world situations to use best practices for engine operations. Crews learned suppression tactics, polishing readiness skills, changing a flat tire, mobile attack, and laying hose lines. Members of the media were also invited on a field tour to learn more about the training program and conducted interviews with BLM Incident Commander Tommy Braun and Unified Fire Authority Lead Paul Story.

A collage of photos with a firefighter pulling out tools from a fire engine, a firefighter spraying water on the ground, a group of firefighters discussing the scenarios with an instructor, and a member of the media filming a fire engine driving up a driving up a dirt road.

The training workshop hosted firefighters from the Bureau of Land Management, USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, Park City Fire Department and Unified Fire Authority. This year, attendance at this training program expanded with firefighters joining from other states, including New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona.

A collage of a firefighter walking on the side a fire engine, a group of firefighters discussing the engine inspections with an instructor, a firefighter walking near a fire engine, and a close up of the fire engine dials and gauges.

“We value our partnerships with Camp Williams and Unified Fire Authority for helping make this training a great success,” said BLM Incident Commander Tommy Braun.

Successful interagency partnerships are essential in the firefighting community because wildfire knows no boundaries. Working together enables us to better leverage resources and respond efficiently to emergency situations. The fire engine operator training workshop helps ensure the effective use of engines for managing fires safely and efficiently during both initial and extended attack.

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