PSFD Continues RT-130 Training In Realistic Conditions

Tiani Jadulang

The Palm Springs Fire Department continues to go the extra mile to ensure they are there for you when it matters the most. 

The department knows how crucial it is to train when it can be most dangerous, doing whatever it takes to make sure the safety of the community comes first.

“We have to train realistically, if we trained during the winter and then we go out during the summer and we try to fight a fire, the heats gonna affect us tremendously.” says Captain Nathan Gunkel, with the Palm Springs Fire Department.

Which is why the Palm Springs Fire Department continuously trains during the summer months, practicing RT-130 training, otherwise known as Wildland training.

“Not only being able to protect property, save lives, but also be able to save our own lives in case of a condition going bad.” Capt. Gunkel says.

The training focuses on outdoor and vegetation fires, with the first part of the training being educational, in the classroom and the other half, hands-on training outside. 

“So anytime you have trees, for us, it’s gonna be the small brush. It’s out here in our desert, wildlands, the big trees that you see in the forests, so just anything that’s outside.”

For the firefighters not from the Coachella Valley, this training is an extra helping hand.

“We try to acclimate the best we can. With this heat, you kind of have to adapt, and that’s the importance of getting out and putting on your gear and training.” says James Shin, a Firefighter Paramedic for the Palm Springs Fire Department.

Besides acclimating to the weather.

“When we get toned out to wildland fires or fires outside of our county, we’re working in tandem with other departments, and we need to have a unified command and tactics need to be in sync… so the little training tactics like we have here like pulling the wildland hose, working out communication is the utmost importance.” Shin says.

Overall this training is for the greater good of the community.

“Our number one thing is always going to be life, secondary is going to be property… so we want to be able to protect these fires that are going to start up in the hills and are going to come down to the homes so we have to be prepared to protect.” Capt. Gunkel says.

Now, this is routine training for the Palm Springs Fire Department, and with the triple digit heat coming in later this year, the department is practicing now more than ever in the warmer conditions.

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