Fire School

Posted Work • Training • Andrew's 2017 Adventure

Volunteering is a massive part of any community.  Whether it’s at the rink, the school, or an event, offering to help without asking for anything in return is something that a lot of us don’t do enough. Without volunteers, our cities and towns would stop in their tracks.
A few weekends ago I was given the opportunity to tag along at an event—co-sponsored by my official search partner, MySask411—that would bring together, acknowledge, and train some of Saskatchewan’s most courageous volunteers: firefighters.
With close to 400 emergency service members in White City for the weekend, it was one of the largest fire schools in the 25 year history of the Saskatchewan Volunteer Fire Fighters Association.
During the three day event, experience and inexperience collided in training courses such as search and rescue, ventilation, and automotive extraction. 
I got in on the action of a specific drill, playing a victim trapped in a school bus accident. To simulate the rescue of a small child, the only thing the instructors allowed me to tell my rescuers was, “I want my mom”. I was unsure if the trainees were aware of my instructions or if they just thought I hadn't seen her in a while. Regardless, they did an amazing job sawing through the roof of the bus to save me and reassuring me that they would find my mother.
Seeing these men and women climbing through windows, busting in doors, and axing through walls was incredible. Wearing the gear that they are expected to throw on in less than a minute was an experience in itself—it took me nearly five minutes when I attempted to get completely geared up. 
These folks were in White City volunteering their own time, training, sweating and working for their communities so that when something goes wrong, they know how to stay calm, think clearly, and handle the situation safely. 
Offering to do something for free is volunteering. 
Offering to battle something as dangerous and unpredictable as a fire is heroic.