Firefighter from Spokane Fire Department receives national recognition

Michele Anderson, Public Safety Communications Manager 509.742.0063

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 at 11:54 a.m.

During the 2016 International Technical Rescue Symposium, Spokane Fire Department (SFD) firefighter Mike Forbes received the prestigious award “Best New Research of the Year” for his research that focused on the effects on escape systems from extreme fire behavior.

“The recognition of Fire Engine Operator Mike Forbes by his peers at the International Technical Rescue Symposium could not be more deserved,” said SFD Battalion Chief Reding. “Mike is tireless in his efforts towards improving firefighter safety as well as advancing and applying cutting edge technical rescue techniques. His worth ethic, enthusiasm and knowledge in all aspects of his profession are second to none. Mike wholly embodies what the Spokane Fire Department strives to provide to its citizens everyday – Service and Protection through Excellence.”

Forbes was hired by SFD in 1999 and assigned to Station 4 in the Browne’s Addition neighborhood in 2001. He was promoted to fire equipment operator in 2004 and has be assigned to Ladder 4 ever since. Forbes been with the Technical Rescue Team since his initial assignment in 2001.

SFD’s Technical Rescue Team responds to rescue situations beyond the capabilities of the standard fire company. These extreme rescue situations include building collapse, confined-space rescue, trench/excavation emergencies, machinery rescue as well as high and low angle rope rescue operations. The team is made up of 40 personnel with highly specialized rescue training and equipment responding from Station 15 in Hillyard and Station 4 in Browne’s Addition. The team responds to all technical rescues within the City of Spokane and throughout the county upon request. The team has been in existence for more than 20 years and in that time has responded to many high-profile and challenging rescue incidents.

The International Technical Rescue Symposium is the leading authority of professionals discussing up-to-date, state-of-the-art, technical rescue information. The Symposium gathers rescuers representing the areas of mountain, cave, fire, industrial, and swift water to discuss ways to improve safety and performance.