Rush City volunteer firefighters complete firefighter 1 training

Volunteer firefighters training at night in a burning house.

Becoming a volunteer firefighter is a long and rigorous process.
Rush City volunteer recruits at the firefighter 1 training were Jeff Jennings, Jeremiah Friday, Jacob Remine, Peter Talberg, Donnie Peterman and Tavis Anderson. Almelund recruit Mike Johnson was also a participant. The training took place March 24-26 in Rush City.
The firefighter training is put on by Central Lakes Community College in Brainerd and funded by a grant from the Minnesota Board of Firefighter Training and Education. The Fire Department brought in four instructors for the training.
The first exercise was at an abandoned house the city had purchased.
“The recruits put on air packs, not oxygen tanks. They put wax paper over their masks, so it looks like smoke, so they can’t really see,” Rush City Fire Chief Bob Carlson said. “Three people work as a team and go through a maze. They throw down a fire hose because when they are in a burning building, they use the hose to find their way out.”
Carlson explained the simulation is very close to what a firefighter would experience responding to an actual call.
“The only difference from a real life situation is they go through one room in training instead of multiple rooms,” Carlson said.
Carlson wants to remind people to check their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors regularly and to change the batteries at least once a year. Also, every bedroom in a house should have a carbon monoxide detector.
The Rush City Fire Department and City Council work well together, which is a major asset to the community, Carlson noted. They keep each other informed and have a mutual respect for one another.
“Mayor Dan (Dahlberg) took time out of his day to come down and watch the training to see the hard work of the trainees,” Carlson said. “The city and mayor take it to heart. We all work very well together.”
All the recruits passed firefighter training 1. Firefighter training 2 will take place sometime in April. Carlson wants to thank all the local firefighters for helping out with the training along with their families.
“We support one another as a crew, and the guys are excited to get new people in the Fire Department,” Carlson said. “It’s difficult to get people for any organization with a demanding job like getting called in at all hours of the night.”

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