Professional Fire Fighters of Idaho host Fire OPS 101 for legislators, policymakers, and media

Posted at 10:10 PM, May 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-19 00:10:44-04

BOISE — Firefighters from all across the state held a "Fire OPS 101" training session in Boise today, and they invited statewide policymakers and media members to get a taste of what it's like to walk in their shoes.

I geared up for the task, to give you a look at "a day in the life" of an Idaho firefighter.

The event gave participants the ability to go into a burning building, witness a makeshift cardiac arrest, extract a victim out of a car, and also climb a 110-foot aerial ladder to the top of a roof, then learn how to run saws to ventilate the roof, which is a critical part of a firefighters job.

All makeshift but live situations, giving 15 legislators, policymakers and media a sneak peak at the reality of a firefighter, and all of this is done in full firefighting gear, including a heavy tank on your back supplying oxygen in a smoke filled situation.

It's a yearly event put on by the Professional Fire Fighters of Idaho.

"We do this to gain more support from our legislators, from our city leaders, from any of the policy makers, to give them a better understanding of when we come to the bargaining table or when we come to the budget hearings," said Tom Lovell, President of The Professional Fire Fighters of Idaho.

That support he says is crucial, for things like building the training center in West Boise.

"This gives us the opportunity that we can come down any day of the week and provide training, real live scenario training for our personnel,” said Lovell.

And that personnel really is utilizing the training center nearly every day.

"It's a game changer for us because it's so hard to find acquired structures. People when they want to get rid of their homes or do demolition, there's so much red tape like asbestos," said Lovell.

Something they don't have to worry about when it comes to fire training at the training center.