- August 20, 2014
Not to worry. The sight of firefighter Trey Bowlin – the department's newest member -- at the top of a 75-foot ladder above the former Amore restaurant was no emergency on Monday.
Longboat Key Fire Rescue was working with the Sarasota County Fire Department as part of mandatory continuing education classes.
“It was a 45-hour state-certified class for Aerial Apparatus Operations, hosted by Longboat Key Fire Rescue,” said Lieutenant Bryan Carr of Longboat Key Fire Rescue.
The first days of the class were spent at a computer. The final day was devoted to teaching firefighters how to operate an aerial truck. Longboat Fire Rescue's ladder truck is designed to handle emergencies in buildings five to six stories in height.
“We went through a number of topics including types of apparatuses, spotting at buildings, techniques for ladder rescues,” Carr said. Other topics addressed at Monday’s training session included elevated standpipes for water supply, elevated master streams for fire operations, as well as emergency procedures, he added.
Class participants took turns moving and positioning the aerial truck and climbing its ladder dressed in full gear.
“This class was very important to us, as proficiency and speed is required when rescuing someone who is hanging out of a window in a building that is on fire,” Carr said.
Demolition of the former Amore restaurant is expected to begin next month. The town had delayed tearing down the restaurant, which relocated to Sarasota, until the fire department completed its exercise.
The town is using a $400,000 grant from Sarasota County to pay for demolition and related site work. Demolition is expected to take six to eight weeks.
Once the former restaurant building is gone, the town plans to create a temporary space for public events, such as concerts, exhibits and even movies for residents. Ultimately, the town's Arts, Culture and Education Center will be built on the site.