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Huntsville Fire and Rescue, Solid Waste-to-Energy Facility team up for special response training

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. --  Covanta, Huntsville's Solid Waste-to-Energy Facility, opened it's doors to the city's fire and rescue special response team this week.
They also hooked the team up with some rescue and medical equipment to help in an emergency including the Reeves Sleeve and training simulators.

"It's a lot faster as far as immobilizing patients; let's us take care of any spinal problems," Chief Steve Britton, Special Operations Chief with Huntsville Fire & Rescue, said. "We can lift it vertically, we can lift it horizontally."

The Reeves Sleeve helps the special response team help a patient in a confined space. This is the focus of this week's training at Covanta.

"Give back by providing them with training equipment to make them better," Terry Bryant, Covanta's Facility Safety Coordinator, said of the reason they offered the donations to Huntsville Fire & Rescue.

For three days, the department's special response team tested their skills at the facility.

"We tie ropes to the same trees; to the same bumpers every time," Chief Britton said. "So when we can get a place like Covanta where we got real life situations and we can practice it, it means a lot to us."

The donated training simulators help firefighters learn how to start IVs to administer fluids and medication.

"We need training to stay proficient in our skills and keep those at the point when we need to use them, we're very proficient and able to use those skills," Captain Bruce Swanson said.

Firefighters said they don't often respond to confined spaces, but when they do it's a high-risk situation.

"The more training we can get in different environments, the better off we'll be," Chief Britton said.