Tisbury hosts marine firefighting training seminar

From left: Tisbury firefighters Michael Wilson, Pat Rolston, Andrew Dickson and Oak Bluffs Captain James Moreis participated in firefighting boat exercises in Vineyard Haven Harbor on Saturday. — Photo by Michael Cummo

Members of Tisbury’s fire, police, and harbormaster’s departments took to the water last Saturday and Sunday for a two-day training seminar in Vineyard Haven’s inner harbor. The group of 20 participants included some Oak Bluffs firefighters as well.

Tom Guldner, president of Marine Firefighting Inc., provided an overview and training on marine firefighting techniques, small boat operations, and marina fires. Mr. Guldner is retired from the Fire Department City of New York as the chief of its marine division.

The training seminar was funded through money that Tisbury receives from the Steamship Authority’s (SSA) passenger embarkation fee, approved by voters at town meeting.

“We all came away with learning some new techniques and approaches, even for common things such as handling emergencies on a dock,” Tisbury fire chief John Schilling said. “He brought a lot of knowledge and experience to us. It’s nice to be able to have access to a resource who has been through dozens of situations and can tell you, here’s what works and what doesn’t work.”