Fire Dept. gives demos for elected officials
By Jim Hagerty
The Rockford Fire Department opened its training facility Saturday, May 22 and offered hands-on demonstrations for elected officials and media representatives.
The event allowed participants to see first-hand the amount of effort, quick thinking and teamwork it takes to properly respond to thousands of emergency calls every year.
A team of Rockford firefighters assisted as participants put out a car fire, navigated their way through a dark, burning building and performed medical response exercises.
Many of the demonstrations included suiting-up in the 70 pounds of gear required at each fire call.
Participants in EMT simulations performed CPR evolutions on a training dummy, learned how a heart defibrillator is applied and a victim is loaded into an ambulance.
“Keep in mind, kids are screaming, the dog is barking and it could be dark,” Lt. John Straley explained, while participants performed an EMT exercise.
Straley added that it is not uncommon to be called to a scene where a victim is 300 pounds or more.
Every Rockford firefighter is a trained emergency medical technician and goes through nine months of mandatory paramedic training.
The Rockford Fire Department responded to 18,000 emergency medical calls last year. Officials said there is a house fire approximately every 30 hours in the city.
From the May 26-June 1, 2010 issue
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