Sunday, January 21, 2018
11On Friday I got the opportunity to go to the State Fire Academy for elected officials’ day. This day is set aside for elected officials to get a closer look at what trainees have to endure in order to become firemen. The day started with classroom sessions about the organization of the fire department along with visits from state officials including our Insurance Commissioner Mike Cheaney. Later that afternoon we got the opportunity to dress out into full fire gear and enter into a burning building to put out a firedf. The gear with the oxygen tank put on about an extra 50-75lbs and it is very expensive. Everything has to be installed exactly right in order to ensure the safety of the firefighter in order for them to be successful and saving a life. I have always had respect for those who put their own safety at risk in order to save others, but I got a closer look at the danger involved in the job of the firefighter. When I entered the heat house, everything was completely dark. We had to feel our way around and then all of sudden we had a close encounter with the fire. This simulation required the firefighters to be focused the entire time and panicking would have only turned out in disaster and in a real life situation, a fatality. It takes a special person to take on this kind of job and to make a career of this profession. I would like to give a warm thank you to the men and women who serve our community. I appreciate your sacrifice and service. 

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Alderman Willis Thompson