Firefighter gets special training

Published 9:42 pm Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A Suffolk firefighter has more training under his belt thanks to a conference he attended in April.

John Buttrick III, halfway up on the left, participates in tower rescue training during the Fire Department Instructors Conference in Indianapolis, Ind., in April.

John Buttrick III attended the Fire Department Instructors Conference in Indianapolis, Ind. More than 30,000 firefighters, chiefs, officers and instructors attended.

“The quality of the training is unparalleled,” Buttrick said. “It was an amazing experience.”

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Buttrick has worked for Suffolk Fire & Rescue since October 2015 and prior to that was a firefighter near Cincinnati, where he is from originally.

“I’ve just always wanted to help people and wanted to give back,” he said of why he originally joined the fire service.

He was able to attend the conference on scholarship thanks to Honeywell and DuPont Kevlar, which selected 20 firefighters and first responders to attend. Honeywell manufactures first responder technology and equipment, and DuPont Kevlar manufactures fire-resistant components of firefighters’ turnout gear.

Buttrick was nominated for the scholarship by Capt. Brian Bunting of Suffolk Fire & Rescue.

“I’m incredibly thankful to the department for supporting me by giving me the time off to go and letting me take my gear,” he said.

Buttrick took three hands-on training courses in addition to several classroom courses. His hands-on courses focused on the initial search of a residence on fire, looking for victims; live fire operations; and rescuing people from structures such as cell towers.

He learned new techniques and methods from fire industry experts. There was also time for networking and getting to know fellow participants and instructors.

“It was a ‘Who’s Who’ from the global fire service,” Bunting said. “There’s someone there from every country in the civilized world. It was an extension of the brotherhood.”

Buttrick also participated in the Sept. 11 memorial climb, where thousands of firefighters climbed the equivalent of 110 stories in full turnout gear at the Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts.

The purpose of the memorial climb is to commemorate the firefighters who died in New York’s World Trade Center during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“You finish the climb they didn’t get a chance to finish,” Buttrick said.

During the climb, each firefighter carried a photo of a firefighter who died in the attacks, as well as their name and truck company number. They were also given the chance to write to the firefighter’s family to tell them they completed the climb.

“They’re truly not forgotten,” Buttrick said. “That’s important, I think. it’s important to give back and memorialize and remember.”

In all, Buttrick said he appreciates the opportunity to participate in the conference, and he hopes to pay it forward.

“I’m definitely going to nominate someone next year,” he said.