Safety Stand-Down Leads to Continued Partnerships
Safety is an integral core value at Faith Technologies. Several years ago, Faith hosted an OSHA Fall-Protection Stand-Down event at our Lenexa safety facility, where community safety leaders gathered to discuss and share best practices. Following the event, a member of the Olathe Fire Department was impressed with the equipment at our facility and approached Faith about the possibility of utilizing it for some of their safety training needs. Being able to support the fire and rescue personnel in our communities who are protecting us every day was a simple decision for Faith, and a strong partnership was begun.
Today, the Olathe FD also hosts Kansas City’s MidAmerica Regional Council Technical Rescue Teams for training at Faith. This group consists of the Central Jackson County Fire Protection District, Olathe Fire Department, Kansas City Kansas Fire Department and Kansas City Fire Department (MO). In all, they have trained more than 300 students at Faith.
The 5,000-square-foot tower lab in our Lenexa facility is comprised of nine towers, each configured in a different manner to allow for individualized types of training. Faith used the facility extensively when we were actively involved in tower work, but it is now primarily utilized to provide training for employees who need to maintain certification for specialized work.
Faith Technologies also shares its facility with fire departments from Lenexa and Overland Park. Lieutenant Ben Petry is a coordinator with the Overland Park Fire Department Special Operations Rescue Team (SORT). SORT is a HAZMAT response team and also a technical rescue team, performing high-angle, swift-water, standing-water and confined-space rescues for the city, and in partnership with neighboring metro areas.
While the Overland Park Fire Department has their own training facilities, they greatly appreciate the ability to use Faith’s facility for some of their most rigorous, intensive training. “Before our partnership with Faith Technologies, we would use outside towers from 50-250 feet high for our high-angle rescue training. As much as we prefer to train in real-life situations, when we’re trying to get people through a number of different scenarios, it’s very time consuming to climb a 250 foot tower,” Lt. Petry said. “Faith’s facility offers us the ability to perform these rescues at a lower height, a much safer height, and allows us to set up and tear down various scenarios quicker.” This is especially helpful during their three-day training academy, and gives them the ability to get all attendees through the needed training sessions. It’s also certainly more pleasant to do indoor training during the winter months, he noted.
Faith Technologies’ Safety Director, Chuck Rutledge, has been instrumental in supporting Faith’s partnership with the area fire departments. “We’re very fortunate to have such great emergency response teams available,” Chuck said. “Besides supporting our communities, we’ve also learned things from them that allow us to improve our training efforts, especially in areas such as confined-space and high-angle safety preparation,” he noted.
“Everyone on our team looks forward to going to Faith,” Petry noted. “We really appreciate the opportunity to train there.” This sentiment was echoed by Mike Hall, Public Information Officer with the Olathe FD. “We very much appreciate this partnership and the training opportunities it provides not only us, but the region as a whole. We are truly thankful for Faith Technologies!”