Lakewood, WA ‚Äì The Lakewood Fire Extrication Team spent the weekend of June 21-22 at the South Hill Mall, competing in the Pile Up in Puyallup. Fire departments from around the country form teams to compete in limited, unlimited, and rapid extrication challenges, to better their skills for successfully rescuing victims of car crashes. The event is sponsored by the Transportation Emergency Rescue Committee (TERC) and was set up and run by the Puyallup Extrication Team.
In the limited competition, teams are not allowed to use hydraulic power tools, such as the Jaws of Life, and are attempting to rescue a live patient from a car. These ‚Äúpatients‚Äù are paramedics from around the country that are acting as judges from within the vehicle.
In the unlimited competition, any tools can be used. Teams are allotted twenty minutes to extricate the patient. The rapid competition is a ten minute head-to-head challenge between two teams.
This year, the Lakewood Fire Extrication Team took first place in the limited event, and Firefighter Jerry Hamilton took second place in the ‚ÄúBest Paramedic‚Äù category. Between all three events, the team took first place overall and has been invited to compete in the national competition in 2009.
Team members include: Team Captain Firefighter Jayme Lind, Captain Jim Rotondo, Captain Tom Renner, Captain Jay Sumerlin, Firefighter Jerry Hamilton, Firefighter Brandon Zecher, Firefighter David Emmons, and Firefighter Matt Wagner.
The Lakewood Fire Extrication Team has been competing in the Pile Up in Puyallup for three years and has placed very high every time. The team has also had the opportunity to compete in the national competition and have traveled to places such as Las Vegas and Myrtle Beach. The team is funded by donations and fundraising efforts.
Congratulations to the entire Lakewood Fire Extrication Team on your hard work this year!
Picture courtesy of Sean Clayton of In A Flash Photography.