Wax Myrtle Overlook - Florence Oregon

Extrication Training; Parks Remain Open Amid Shutdown; Marchers in Support of Measure 101

Firefighter Training

Two dozen firefighters from four different agencies endured the cold and the rain yesterday to undergo training for extricating people trapped in a motor vehicle.  Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue, Swisshome, Deadwood and Mapleton all participated in a two day training hosted by Dallas Fire.  Firefighters teamed up in different scenarios and then had to safely solve issues that arose from a wreck while preserving life.  Pete, Boa, Warren Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue recruitment and retention Coordinator said that accidents of this nature are rare for our area and therefore continued training is a necessity. Dallas Fire Captain Ken Waller says training provides the chance to hone skills.

“Basically what we are doing is teaching basic skills in auto extrication.”

Firefighters were put into four teams and then sequestered while a situation was set up.  The first team came upon a scene which had a vehicle on its side with the driver trapped behind the wheel. In addition there were several other hazards they had to combat including power lines and a gas line.  The scenario took about 30 minutes as they secured the scene and proceeded to remove the roof from the vehicle.  Afterwards the teams were gathered for a briefing on how well they did and what they could have done better.  Warren says the training is essential for smaller departments like Siuslaw since they do not experience the several hundred motor vehicle accidents that departments near the i-5 corridor do.  Captain Wahler says the money comes from a state grant that allows them to facilitate the training.

Shutdown Limits Some Park Services

The government shutdown has put a damper on some federal parks and recreation facilities across the state, but according to the Bureau of Land Management most public lands will remain accessible.  Trails, roads, campgrounds, boat docks and recreation sites will remain open but they say that emergency and rescue services may be limited.  Facilities associated with the lands will, however remain closed as there will be no one to staff them.  BLM also issued notice that during the shutdown the  websites and social media outlets will not be updated to provide current information including conditions on  public properties.

Supporters Rally for Measure 101

A small group of supporters of the Measure 101 carried signs and walked through town on Saturday reminding people that there is a special election tomorrow that will determine how Oregon will fund some of its health care options.  If the measure fails tomorrow there will be about a billion dollars short fall for the system and the state government will have to fill that gap somehow or quit offering some services.  Recently the federal government reduced the funding for the Affordable care act and the reduction will continue over the next several years.  Oregon passed a measure that would allow for the monies to provide continued coverage, but republican lawmakers got the signatures needed on petitions to call for a vote from the people.  A yes vote will add a tax to health care insurance to make up the needed finances.