Minneapolis Fire Department gets some hands-on welding experience at Dunwoody

Station 4 MFD firefighters and Welding instructors and students

MFD firefighters from Station 4 (in green jackets) with Welding Technology instructors and students

Firefighters from Minneapolis Fire Department’s Station 4 were on campus March 17 for some basic welding instruction and training. The training included proper and safe use of equipment and some cutting practice with both plasma and oxyacetylene welders.

“The training has been excellent,” said MFD firefighter Chris Husnik. “Familiarizing ourselves with the equipment and the layout of the shop also helps us knows what to look for in case of emergency.”

Station 4 is assigned to respond to emergencies at the College and so knowing about the layout of and flammable materials in the welding shop is useful to the emergency responders should a situation arise — whether at Dunwoody or at one of the many other machine and metal shops that are in Section 4′s area, which includes Minneapolis’ warehouse district.

Husnik also said that the welding introduction could be useful in evaluating tools that could help the firefighter in their jobs. For example, although they currently have pneumatic and hydraulic cutters, it might make sense at some point for them to also acquire plasma cutters for use in confined spaces where the other cutters would be awkward to use (like in a building collapse). In addition, he noted that Station 4 does have some welding equipment on hand so it’ll be useful to know how to minor repairs on non-safety equipment (safety equipment would continue to be repaired professionally).

The event came about because Husnik and Senior Welding Instructor Mark Carter know each other from high school. Carter has also worked as a “paid, on call” firefighter in Ashland, Wisc., for three and a half years and is aware that it can be useful for firefighters to know about welding equipment.

The plan is for MFD to reciprocate later this spring by training Dunwoody students on safety and first aid.

β€œWe were very excited to have the MFD fire fighters out for a day of training,” said Mark Carter, senior welding instructor. β€œIt was great to be able to give a little back to them in recognition of all that they do for us and the community here in Minneapolis. We look forward to having them on campus again to train our students.”