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Firefighters learn how to avoid icy slips at our Training Center

Friday, February 23, 2018

All it takes is one slip and fall for injuries to occur.

Falling on ice can be a major hazard for firefighters. As they douse a blaze with water, sidewalks and driveways quickly ice over.

Firefighter on slip simulatorWe invited the Plain Township Fire Department to our Training Center to learn how to walk – safely – on slippery surfaces. In fact, we’re inviting emergency responders from around the state to train with us.

“Anybody that would have the opportunity should take it,” said Assistant Chief Jack Rupp. “Any preventative measures we can take to prevent an injury--why wouldn’t you do it?”

Our slip simulator makes walking extremely difficult. We use it to train our employees how to walk in icy conditions. It was an even bigger challenge for the firefighters, who wore their full turnout gear and an air tank, adding 70 pounds of weight. Only the safety harness kept them from tumbling over.

But once we showed them the proper technique for walking on slippery surfaces, things changed. The firefighters were able to move the length of the simulator holding a cup of water – and not spilling a drop.

“I can apply what I've learned at work and home...and it was fun!” one firefighter told us. Another said “My kids would love this and I can share this with my family.”

We want to train with fire departments and other emergency responders from around Ohio. Free classes cover everything from the basics of natural gas safety to emergency response and fighting gas-fed fires.

To learn about training opportunities, departments can email ohiotrainingcenter@nisource.com or call 1-614-322-3825.