I stepped out the door on Thursday evening, the 21st of January, to see a multitude of firefighters and several pieces of firefighting equipment across the street from my house.
The Diamond Star Fire Department was to have a training session that evening, but I was totally unprepared for what I observed.
There were in excess of 30 firefighters from the Diamond Star, Payson and Christopher-Kohl's Fire Departments, gathered to train in extrication from vehicles. There were four vehicles on site to be used in the training exercise, a four-door compact, a medium-sized station wagon, a Ford LTD and a full-sized van.
The firefighters divided into three training groups, and further divided into pairs, one experienced member and one not, to proceed with the training.
First they trained with hand tools (sledge hammers and pry bars) and proceeded to force open the doors on the vehicles. They also removed glass. Then came the power tool session (Jaws of Life) using the ram tool to force open doors, both at the latch post and the hinge post; the cutting jaws to cut door and top posts; and the chisel tool to cut through metal.
The degree of teamwork and enthusiasm by all levels of firefighting personnel was exceptional. All -- full-timers and volunteers -- performed in a professional manner.
Were I to be involved in an accident requiring extrication, it is comforting to know the level of training these firefighters received.
As a new board member of the Diamond Star Fire District, I am pleased to see the quality of our firefighters.