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Did you ever wonder what it would be like to be a firefighter?
Now you can find out without having to undergo any training at all.
The Firefighter for a Day program, held by the Shelbyville Fire Department, will take place July 14, and will allow participants to come as close to experiencing a real firefighting experience as possible.
“We’ll have six different training scenarios,” Assistant Fire Chief Chris Spaulding said. “We will actually suit them up with gear and they will wearing the self containing breathing apparatus. We will simulate smoky conditions, and we will let them go in and do search and rescue.”
Spaulding said he does not know of any departments in this area who have put on the program.
“It’s big out west, and New York is big on it,” Spaulding said. “Its purpose is to make people aware of what we do and it also give us the possibility of picking up some volunteer firefighters.”
Spaulding said that although the city fire department, with a paid crew of 22 full-time and 11 part-time firefighters, plus 20 volunteers, is not shorthanded, many departments are.
“Nationwide, departments are having trouble getting volunteers because people have to work two and three jobs and don’t have time to do anything on just a volunteer basis,” he said.
Shelbyville Mayor Tom Hardesty said thinks the concept is a great idea.
“It will be a wonderful opportunity for the community to help them understand what firefighters do and the risks they take every day to keep the rest of us safe,” he said. “I think it’s a great program.”
Spaulding couldn’t keep the excitement from his voice as he talked about what the participants will be doing at the event, to be held at the Emergency Management office on 7th Street.
“We’ve got a three-story training tower we’re going to use,” he said. “There are six core concepts of being a firefighter. Number one is trust, so that will be the first thing right off the bat. We will lower them down off that three-story building. And we will be showing them all aspects of firefighting, from hazardous materials to fighting fires to vehicle extrication.”
Spaulding said he hopes to have a full house on July 14, and he encourages anyone with an interest in firefighting to attend.
Firefighter for a Day
What:Firefighter immersion program
When:8 a.m. to 5 p.m., July 14
Where:EMA office on 7th Street in Shelbyville
Registration:By June 30 call 502-633-7101, ext. 2, or E-mail email@example.com