Firefighters learn bailout techniques in Tisbury

Rich Saltzberg

Firefighters from Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Tisbury, and Onset gathered at the Tisbury Emergency Services Building over the weekend for two days of technical training, including how to bail out of a building when conditions become too dangerous. On a balcony overlooking Tisbury fire apparatus, firefighters learned how to bail headfirst out a window onto a ladder, spin upright, and slide to the ground when, as Jack Beckwith, head of the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy Rapid Intervention and Survival Skills Programs, put it, things “get bad.”

The firefighters all were tethered to a belay line for the exercise, according to West Tisbury Fire Lt. Brynn Schaffner, who assisted in training the firefighters. Schaffner pointed out firefighters in a real-life bailout situation don’t have such a line to rely on. Firefighters also underwent confidence and tight-quarters training by shimmying through a low, wire- and debris-draped tunnel in full turnout gear. Firefighters who participated in the weekend training earned a certificate for completing the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy’s “Saving Ourselves