Doug Slaight

Doug Slaight 4 years, 3 months ago on Editorial: Fire district violated public trust

I am in full support to the Fire Boards decisions in regards to this training center. I made my decision by being informed and asking questions. Not being an uniformed arm chair quarterback. Do I think they have done the best job at educating the people? No. Is that their job or is it ours as taxpayers? But they have done what they thought was right. I attend almost every Fire Board meeting and sadly I'm the only citizen there. The last time I can remember anyone else at a meeting was last July. The last meeting, March 2012, was the first time I can remember a Daily Press reporter there in over a year and he was there for only half the meeting. Last April a group of people showed up thinking they knew all they needed to know about the budget and the operation of the Fire Board and the Fire Department. How can any of you form an accurate opinion on how the board has come to their decisions by attending one meeting? I think the Fire Board has done an excellent job with my money. They have obtained grants when available. Developed a working budget, stay within that budget and planned for the future. What more can you ask of them? I encourage everyone to get involved with your fire department. Attend more than one meeting and be informed before you make your decisions. I hope the media will become involved as they are with every other government agency and present an unbiased report of the functions of the Fire District.
Sincerely Doug Slaight

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Doug Slaight 4 years, 3 months ago on Editorial: Fire district violated public trust

The Firefighter 1 curriculum takes almost a year to complete. Rookie firefighters are taught all the necessary aspects of being a firefighter. Firefighter safety, SCBA, Search and Rescue, fire streams, ladders, ventilation, rope's and knots, and fire behavior to name a few subjects. This building can be used for all of this training and more. The current fire station is not a proper training facility. Putting ladders against the building tears up the sides, the roof is not designed to be walked on unnecessarily. You can only crawl under so many fire trucks to simulate SCBA, search & rescue, hose advancement and fire streams. I know a little about quality training as I had the privilege of being in charge of training for around 5 years. I know how difficult it is to find an abandon structure to train in and eventually burn. I know how the NFPA regulations have changed in regards to live fire training and burning abandon buildings. Asbestos abatement. The dangers to firefighters in abandoned buildings set on fire. The danger of burning a structure next to other residents. Live fire certifications became a part of Firefighter 1 requirements when I was in charge of training. We had to travel to Frisco or Rifle for the rookies to be tested. Hayden's building was just being built if I remember right. Besides rookie training there is also continuing training that must be completed by each firefighter which includes more live fire training to recertify at their firefighter level. It, in my opinion, if not feasible to train as a effective department traveling to Hayden and using their building. Most people have not a clue to the amount of training hours our firefighters achieve in a year.

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Doug Slaight 4 years, 3 months ago on Editorial: Fire district violated public trust

As a 20 year retired Firefighter for the Craig Rural Fire Protection District, I am somewhat insulted by the editorial boards uneducated stance on the proposed training center. You make a statement that this is not about the firefighters themselves. But by your comments you are saying they do not deserve a place to effectively train as a team and to put their lives on the line to protect all of us without the best training available. This training center is just as important as any other piece of equipment provided to our firefighters. When I became a rookie in 1986 there was no real structured training classes. We learned from our mistakes and from what senior firefighters tried to teach us. A couple years later we as a younger group of firefighters realized how important training was for the district we protected and more importantly our own safety. We set out to become Firefighter 1 certified. Firefighter certifications are a nationally known and excepted firefighter training curriculum where you learn all aspects of safe, effective firefighting. As with any training curriculum, this training also has changed through the years as changes in building design, furnishing and other hazards have been built into today's structures. Haz-mat and live fire certification is now part of the Firefighter 1 certification. Firefighting experts were realizing too many firefighters were not prepared to enter a burning building and were not recognizing the phases of fire and the dangers involved with extinguishment. This building is not just a live fire training building. It is not just a fire tower training building. What it is, is a building where all facets of firefighter training can be achieved. I hope none of you naysayer's think that our firefighters returning home safe to their families is not the number one priority. To have the best chance at that goal they all need the best training available. When we were rookies, we learned about heat from a burning pile of pallets. We went into a room to find a fire by obscuring our SCBA mask with wax paper and entering a room trying to find a traffic cone that simulated the fire. Believe me my first entry into a burning building was nothing like what that training was like. Heat forced your face to the floor, you could not see your hand in front of your face and your knees where stuck to the melting carpet. Our firefighters deserve better training than that.

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