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Local fire departments are learning to drive on ice and mud even though they’re on dry pavement

Truck tires ever so slightly touch the ground simulating slippery surface driving.

Truck tires ever so slightly touch the ground simulating slippery surface driving.


Doug White photos

Doug White photos

State law enforcement and emergency services instructors spend a lot of time on the road all year helping our local police and sheriff’s departments keep their training up to date and well practiced.

And that includes drivers training for firefighters. The Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training are in Newport for the next few weekends getting fire truck drivers and others used to what it’s like to have to maneuver huge vehicles in icy and muddy conditions.

Notice the apparatus they put large vehicles in. It’s a harness that actually lifts the truck slightly so wheel contact with the ground is reduced dramatically – thereby creating the feeling of driving on ice or mud.

The training exercises put on quite a show and there’s plenty of room to watch down there at one of the large South Beach Marina parking lots, just south of the NOAA Headquarters. Training goes on 9-4 this weekend and for the following two weekends.

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