City council members get hands-on experience as a firefighter

Members of city administration and city council took part in Fire Ops 101 this afternoon and got hands-on experience with what it takes to be a firefighter. The participants went through three different scenarios including a structure fire, a car crash, and a medical emergency.

“We were able to show them how with our limited staffing levels how well we do with our integrated service, we run firefighters and paramedics on both the ambulance and the fireside. We run three personal fire apparatus, so we were able to show council and the admin how difficult it is when we arrive on scene with less staff than the industry standard is. The current industry standard is four firefighters per apparatus and we are responding with three everyday, makes it very difficult. Typically we could use an ambulance member as a firefighter but with dispatch leaving and moving to Calgary, centralizing dispatch has made ambulance unavailable to assist us at fire scenes,” said Brent Nunweiler, a member of the Lethbridge Fire Department.

City Councilor John Middleton-Hope was one of the participants and says it was a great experience being a part of the scenarios.

“It’s just interesting because it’s a reflection. I have gone into fires without any equipment before so when I was a police officer many years ago, I went into a number of fires and actually extricated somebody from a garage fire and there was black smoke in there and you end up spitting up black out of your lungs for several days after. The equipment is so critical because sometimes they are in there for a long period of time. I certainly learned a lot of that. I have always have a great deal of respect for firefighters and paramedics,” said John Middleton-Hope, Councilor for Lethbridge City Council.

The Lethbridge Fire Department is also hiring new recruits. More information can be found on the City of Lethbridge website.

Angela Stewart

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