Up in smoke
Running into a smoke-filled basement while wearing bunker gear and breathing apparatus. Going to a second-floor building to give aid to a heart-attack victim and carry him downstairs to the ambulance.
These are just two of four simulations nearly 20 elected and appointed officials took part in Aug. 20 at the North Metro Fire Rescue District Training Center in Erie.
“It really does give people in our community a glimpse of the life of a firefighter,” said NMFR Chief Joseph Bruce.
Bruce said the workshop, FIRE OPS 101, was designed to help community members understand the demands — physical, mental and emotional intensity — and the diversity of firefighters in today’s world.
He said the participants learned how hard each individual acts are — such as extracting a victim out of a damaged car, the weight of the tools and how to properly use them, and the other dynamics that play into rescue operations — such as the dangers of deployed air bags at an accident scene.
“Every act they did was just the tip of the iceberg,” Bruce said. “I think that stuck with each one of them.”
Jenni Murphy, NMFR board member and Northglenn resident, said she participated in the workshop to learn the necessity for continuous training, physical training, increased personnel and equipment for safety of the firefighters as they help those in need.
“I feel that I will be able to contribute more to the district after experiencing this ‘hands-on’ training,” she said.
Other local officials who participated in the workshop were District 34 Rep. Steve Lebsock, District 7 Rep. Angela Williams and Northglenn Ward II Councilwoman Leslie Carrico. NMFR serves the communities of Northglenn and Broomfield and unincorporated areas of Adams, Boulder and Jefferson counties.
NMFR hosted the workshop in conjunction with the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 2203 and the Colorado Professional Fire Fighters. This particular workshop more than likely won’t be held again because it was designed by the IAFF, and representatives with that organization were in Denver for a conference, Bruce said. He added NMFR may design its own workshop and open it up to a wider audience to build up community relations.