We all know the extremely important role our firefighters play in the community, but there's nothing like some hands-on training to drive that lesson home. The Joplin Fire Department did just that for Joplin's city leaders with it's Fire Ops 101 event.
"We ask (city leaders) to make decisions every day. When I ask them for more manpower or equipment, they don't really know what we do. So what better way to educate our council members than to put them in the boots for one day, to see what a fireman does on a daily basis?" said Joplin Fire Chief Jim Furgerson.
Four story ladders were climbed. Cars were broken into as trainees simulated a vehicle rescue. There were CPR and other first responder related lessons. And then the main event: simulating fighting a fire and saving somebody from a burning kitchen. These valuable exercises let Joplin's city council know about a demanding job and the tools required for success.
"You start seeing how valuable it is, with good equipment, safe equipment, experienced fire fighters," said Joplin FIre Captain Jeremie Humphrey.
And with A+ instructors and a demanding curriculum, the students of Fire Ops 101 took everything to heart.
"Until you actually hold one of these tools and use them, you have no clue of what you have to do, and what goes into trying to save somebody's life," said Councilwoman Melodee Colbert-Kean.
I learned a lot participating in Fire Ops 101, and while I didn't expect it to be easy, the entire experience really opened my eyes to the demands of fighting fires and protecting the public, safely and effectively. I share Councilwoman Melodee Colbert-Kean's opinion.
"Much respect. There is nothing but respect that I have for not only our fine department, but all of the departments, because they put their lives on the line to save us," said Colbert-Kean.
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