By Sgt. 1st Class Phillip Eugene, 80th Training Command Public AffairsMay 10, 2015
Pfc. Justin Barker wants safety procedures from the Army's Wheeled Vehicle Recovery Course implemented at his civilian workplace.
The Reserve Soldier is a Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic assigned to 319th Quartermaster Battalion, Twinsburg, Ohio, and he's a tow truck operator as a civilian. He attended the WVRC at Regional Training Site - Maintenance Fort Devens Mass., April, 2015.
Safety aspects of the WVRC Barker wants implemented include, wearing of gloves when handling chains and winches, making sure individuals are out of the way during recovery operations, and stepping over cables instead of on them. He also wants his coworkers to adopt the military's hand signals, which he says are more concise than the ones he's accustomed to as a tow truck operator.
"I'm definitely gonna tell my boss about it and try to have him give me a raise," Barker said.
He learned to operate a tow truck through on the job training, so the WVRC is the only formal training Barker has received. The course teaches Active Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve enlisted personnel to operate and maintain recovery vehicles and related equipment. Students also learn to employ standard procedures for rigging, recovering, and towing wheeled vehicles.
One of the challenges students face during the course is the safe recovery of a vehicle from a mire pit. The instructors purposely place the vehicle into the pit to try and make the training as realistic as possible.
Sgt. 1st Class Jennifer Beamis, 424th Engineer Company, Rutland, Vt., one of Barker's classmates during the WVRC, said RTS-M Devens is structured to accommodate various learning styles.
"It's hands on, it's book related, and it's set up so everybody can learn," Beamis said.
Assigning a specific task to each individual before going out on a recovery mission is another practice Barker learned at the course, which he plans on introducing to his civilian workplace.