Firefighters behind the scene - What you don't see in the news

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Firefighter, wearing his air pack, is blindfolded and has to untangle the hose and disconnect each piece of hose.

Beaufort, Mo – This past Saturday, the Beaufort/Leslie Fire Department spent most of their night working a house fire, which is what most of our readers jumped to read about.  However, volunteer firefighters spend 80 to 90 percent of their time doing things other than responding to 911 calls.

Quick News spoke with Beaufort/Leslie Fire Chief Terry Feth about what his department does when not fighting fires or working a car accident.

Chief Feth said, “No doubt our job is to respond to 911 calls, but if our equipment does not work or a truck won’t start we would not be able to do our job.  We do regular checks on all our equipment and do routine maintenance, but training is the most important.  If our guys have no clue what they are doing not only could they be seriously hurt, we would be putting the lives of those who depend on the fire department in danger as well.”

Beaufort/Leslie’s fire crews spend several hours a month training and practicing potential scenarios they could be faced with.  Recently, they spent time reviewing their protocols related to the variety of reasons people call 911.

Pictured right Chief Terry Feth.

Feth said, “Our crews spent time doing a refresher on air masks and air tanks, preparing for potential structure fires with winter quickly approaching.  This means residents will have to heat their homes; as you know there are multiple ways this is done with each heating source posing different scenarios.”

Also, their rapid intervention team practiced escape air system training.  This team is utilized when a fellow firefighter may be trapped and low on air.  They are able to connect their take, which is full, to another’s tank that may be close to empty.  This is also referred to as “Buddy Breathing”, two firefighters breathing air from one tank.

They also practiced ladder training for flu fires, which are a common event during the winter.  Feth wants to remind homeowners to take the time to make sure to clean out their flues.  Also, when burning wood, remember that it is best to burn dry wood.

Feth also said, “Sometime before Thanksgiving we will have a new tanker which we plan to have in service before Christmas.”

So keep in mind that the vast majority of volunteer fire departments are well educated in nearly every reason you may have to call 911.  New Haven/Berger Fire Department has similar trainings throughout each month as well.

TV shows are for entertainment and poorly depict how things are done in real life.  Have trust in all public safety agencies, Fire, Police, and EMS, because they are professionals and know what they are doing.