LOFPD Training Officer David Woodward said the International Association of Firefighters sponsors training classes free of charge to the local districts through a grant.

We've all read the stories:

A toddler falls into a storm sewer; or a utility worker succumbs to toxic fumes in a storm or sanitary sewer and has only minutes to live; a family pet wandered into an open cistern.

Saving minutes save lives.

Knowing how to extricate someone or something quickly and efficiently from the narrow and sometimes challenging spaces of an underground enclosure can make the difference between life or death, or permanent injury. Local and regional firefighters recently learned first hand what to do in that type of emergency.

With the help of specialized instructors, the Lake Ozark Fire Protection District hosted confined space rescue training at Eagles' Landing in Lake Ozark.

Albert Valerioti, a retired firefighter from Waterbury Fire in Connecticut; Bob Suarez with Des Moines Fire Department; and Capt. Frank Bertog with the Chicago Fire Department offered detailed instruction on how to set up an extrication system, how to lower a firefighter into either a horizontal or vertical space and how to then remove the person or pet from the area.

Firefighters were from the Mid County (St. Louis County), Mid County (Camdenton), Osage Beach, Lebanon, Nixa, Lake Ozark and Sullivan fire departments.

LOFPD Training Officer David Woodward said the International Association of Firefighters sponsors training classes free of charge to the local districts through a grant.