Most civilians don’t usually get the chance to see the situations firefighters experience on a daily basis, but Friday, community members from all over Northern Nevada trained like a firefighter.
Carson City Fire Department and Truckee Meadows Firefighters Local 3895 and Truckee Meadows Fire Chiefs Association hosted the second IAFF Fire Ops 101 Friday at Fire Station 52. Assembly persons, city and school employees and members of the Washoe County Board of Supervisors were just some of the civilians who attended the half day training, rotating through stations to learn about EMS techniques, fire suppression in a burning building, vehicle extraction and wildland firefighting.
“This allows the decision makers to see what we do,” said Carson Fire Chief Bob Schriehans. “They are the people who make decisions on policies like the budget and such so when the administration comes to the Board of Supervisors they have some background as to why this job is so labor intensive so they see why we need the man power and budget that we do.”
Several dozen community members participated in this training, suiting up in fire turnouts and getting into the action.
“I think this has been a great experience, you get to experience all the things the Carson Fire Department does, the knowledge and skills they have to have for this job, which is so much more than just structure fires,” said Carson City Human Resources Director Melanie Bruketta. “It is important because you see how physically fit they need to be, the toll that it takes on them mentally and physically and the tools they use to complete their task successfully without injury.”
The participants spent the seven hours of training rotating through four stations: destroying vehicles to learn about the extraction tools, participating in an EMS simulation, creating fire lines and carrying equipment up Goni Canyon to practice wildland firefighting, and putting out a fire in a burning building.
But, the adults weren’t the only ones learning Friday. A group of fourth and fifth graders from the Carson City Montessori School were also at Station 52, filming their own documentary on the training for a school project. Their teacher, Racquel Abowd was participating as a representative for the Carson School District and Montessori schools and the students decided to take four of her students along to experience the training and produce a film to show others about what firefighters have to encounter.
“As upper elementary we do a lot of learning with the community and so the students have that real world experience and transfer that to something meaningful,” Abowd said.
The students interviewed Abowd, the other participants and the firefighters, shot B-roll footage and participated in some of the events.
“It is a cool experience to show others what it is like to be a firefighter and what they do and what it is,” said Vecente Ramirez.
“It was cool to see how firefighters do their work,” added Noah Bean.
All four students agreed the vehicle extraction was their favorite activity.
“So far the cars were my favorite because they took all the power tools to use in different ways to take off the glass and stuff,” said Ella Dooley.
Several agencies assisted in the training, including Tahoe-Douglas Fire Department, Truckee Meadows Fire Department, Incline Fire Department and Carson City Fire Department.