(EFFINGHAM, IL) – When HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital opened their new St. Anthony’s Health Center in December 2018, there were plans to raze the previous Open MRI building on Temple Avenue adjacent to the parking lot for the Health Center. But before that is done, the hospital offered the building to the Effingham Fire Department to conduct training for their personnel.
The Effingham Fire Department conducted training on the old Open MRI building the weeks of February 4 and 11. During that time, they conducted drills covering hoseline deployments, firefighter survival techniques and vertical ventilation.
Firefighter Matt Carpenter, Training Officer for the Effingham Fire Department, shared why being able to conduct training drills such as these is so important to the department.  “A commercial structure, such as this one, could be a once in a career opportunity for many firefighters. We conducted drills we cannot practice other places since this was going to be demolished,” he shared.
The hospital’s Open MRI building is undergoing demolition the week of February 18. St. Anthony’s Executive Director of Outpatient and Ancillary Services Mike Janis said, “Since we placed a more advanced Open MRI in the new Health Center and we want to offer expanded parking for those who use the Health Center, we had plans to demolish the older Open MRI building,” Janis explained.  “By allowing the Fire Department to conduct training in the building before demolition, we saw this as an opportunity to offer support our local Fire Department who does so much for our community members.”
Assistant Fire Chief Matt Kulesza expressed the department’s appreciation to St. Anthony’s for offering the use of the building for training. “We are very appreciative of the opportunity awarded to us by HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital.  With having a commercial structure to practice and train in, we have fortified our working relationship between Effingham Fire Department and St. Anthony, all while ensuring the safety of the public that we serve.”
PHOTO: The Effingham Fire Department recently conducted training on HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital’s old Open MRI building before it was razed to make way for more parking for patients of the hospital’s new Health Center. Training on vertical ventilation on the roof of the building are (left to right) Firefighter Tyson Massey (back to camera), Firefighter Tasha Verdeyen (hidden), Chief Bob Tutko, and Captain J.R. Nieman (on ladder).

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HSHS Illinois
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