Firefighters Provide Realistic Day-in-the Life Experience on May 30, 2015
Sixteen elected officials, journalists, business and community leaders strapped on protective gear and became firefighters for a day when Spokane Valley Fire Department and Spokane County Fire District 8 hosted “Fire Ops 101” on May 30, 2015 at the SVFD training center.
More than 40 firefighters representing IAFF Locals 876, 3701 and 3711 provided these leaders with an opportunity to experience what firefighters deal with on a daily basis. This first-hand experience is an effective way to better understand that firefighting is a dangerous, labor-intensive profession in which time is the single most critical factor. If you do not have enough firefighters, properly trained and equipped, on scene quickly, people die.
The 16 civilian leaders participated in a variety of controlled, but very realistic scenarios that demonstrate the typical functions necessary to resolve fire and emergency medical incidents. These scenarios include search and rescue, vehicle extrication, fire hose application, cardiac arrest, and, while wearing full personal and protective equipment, even completed a live fire training exercise. Experienced firefighters volunteered their time to guide participants through each scenario and, as groups rested between each station, answered questions about the day’s activities and the fire service in general.
The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) developed the Fire Ops 101 program to give decision makers a better understanding of the challenges of the job.
Testimonials from Fire Ops 101 Participants
“They risk their lives to save ours. It is a dangerous and exhausting job. Not that I didn’t respect them before, but I have immense respect for them after spending a day in their shoes. They are truly heroes that live amongst us.” Stephanie Vigil, KHQ-6
It’s one thing to read about and another to actually go through it. The camaraderie among all the firefighters working together as a team to save lives and protect property is amazing.” Katy Allen, City of Liberty Lake Administrator