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Dammeron Valley Fire & Rescue establishes Special Tactics and Response Team

Dammeron Valley Fire & Rescue (DVFR) has established a Special Tactics and Response Team (START) to train in new areas focused on the “Rescue” aspect of the department’s mission. Members of START have been training for three weeks on rope rescue skills under the newest curriculum from Utah Fire & Rescue Academy (UFRA), which provides certification at the Awareness, Operations, and Technician levels in accordance with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1006 and 2500 standards.

DVFR’s START members have approached the new curriculum aggressively, working through Awareness and Operations training simultaneously. This training will be completed over the next few weeks, culminating with final skills evaluations conducted by independent UFRA Testers.

START has also begun training on Swift Water Rescue, recently introducing this specialized competency to members at the Veyo Pool area with gear and support from Washington County Search & Rescue (SAR).

“DVFR Special Tactics refers to those members who are specially training and qualified in unique operational tactics and procedures used outside traditional incidents, such as structure fire, EMS, vehicle accidents, or wildland fires,” explains DVFR Battalion Chief Ryan D’Ambrosio. “Based upon the threat analysis in our area, DVFR’s START will be capable of responding to and resolving any incident involving low angle rope rescue, as well as swift water and surface water rescue.”

Captain Skyler Skinner, DVFR’s Director of Training adds, “DVFR’s members complete many hours of training each month and will continue to do so to ensure we have the right capabilities, even for High Severity/Low Probability incidents.”

This new curriculum will become part of the DVFR Fire & EMS Training Center’s course content offering. The DVFR Fire & EMS Training Center offers certification and recertification Academies to its members and students from departments across Southern Utah, including structure and wildland fire, Emergency Medical Technician (Basic), and Emergency Medical Technician (Advanced). For information on the Training Center and upcoming Academies, please visit

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