Apr 11-06

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2006: April: Apr 11-06
Super Soaker    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Mary Drew
Hose work    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Mary Drew
Ladder skills    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Mary Drew

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 07:29 am:

Most of us never really think about how much work goes into becoming a volunteer Fireman, so this past Sunday morning when I saw these guys out spraying hoses and climbing ladders in Lake Linden, I decided it was time to find out what it's all about. I spoke with the Lead Instructor and Chief of the Bootjack Fire Department, Dan Sarazin (pictured in bottom photo inset). Dan told me these folks from all over the Keweenaw, were being tested by the State of Michigan Fire Fighters to see if they were qualified to protect our lives and homes. Each Firefighter puts in 160 hours of class time for a Firefighter I qualification and an additional 76 hours for Firefighter II. Once that is completed, a written exam is taken, followed by the practical exam, which is the subject of today's Pasty Cam photos. The top photo is part of the hose and nozzle testing, where the different stream skills, along with hose coupling/uncoupling are tested. The next shot is rolling the hoses, guess no job is complete until you wrap things up! Of course ladder skills are a necessity when fighting fires, so the ability to put one up and climb safely, is another of the tests given. These are just a few of the stations that are set up to test their life saving skills. As you can see, there's a lot of work involved just to become a "volunteer" in this profession, so next time you talk to one of your local Firefighters, be sure to shake their hand and give them a big thank you!

By Tim in Oscoda (Timmer280) on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 07:47 am:

These guys are awesome!!! While everyone else is running away from the danger...THEY are running right to it!


By JOHN AND ANNE KENTUCKY (Username) on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 08:02 am:

I am a volunteer in our small town.We have about four hours of training every week. Took a class in the fall that was over 80 hours! One thing that anybody can do to help the fire service is to make sure your address is very visible.Big numbers on your mail box or house is a real help.

By JanieT (Bobbysgirl) on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 08:07 am:

Very dedicated people! When we built our new house on our part of my family's farm that we bought, we donated the original farm house to several neighboring volunteer fire depts. for drills. That was so awesome to watch these folks in action. And to learn just how many ways fires can start was amazing, and then the many ways each fire was handled, just left you in awe and makes you feel fortunate that they are there for you in case of the real thing, God forbid! Fine and friendly people they are!

By Capt. Paul & Dr. Nat in Texas (Eclogite) on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 08:15 am:

My father was a volunteer fireman for many years eventually making it to fire chief of our local department. I remember all the classes he had to take some 20-25 years ago. He is now retired, but he still has some hair-raising stories about fighting fires. He also has some gut busters about some of the calls they would receive, more than just the cat in the tree types.

Mary is absolutely correct!! If you see or know a firefighter whether they are volunteer or not, thank them today for their dedication to this dangerous occupation.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 08:29 am:

How interesting! These guys are awesome and definitely don't get enough credit from a lot of people. Hats off to the volunteer firemen of America!!!

By WishingIWasInDaUP (Sur5er) on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 08:38 am:

Thank you to all our firefighters
...everywhere :) Not only do these firefighters respond to fire calls, they also respond to horrible accident scenes.

By JOHN AND ANNE KENTUCKY (Username) on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 08:50 am:

Your right Sur5er. Most of our runs are not fires,they are car accidents. In our area we get there before the ambulance. As a first responder you have to able to be a medic and sometimes a social worker for people.

By Roy Beauchene (Royb) on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 09:14 am:

My father was a volunteer fireman in Calumet for some 35 or 40 years until he was 65 years old. We had a bell in our house that rang whenever there was a fire. The number of rings, of the bell, told you where the fire was. I remember some of the big fires they had. Sometimes my Mother would get us dressed and we would go and see the fire.
We need to thank all of the fireman for their dedication to a dangerous job.

By Marianne Young (Marianne) on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 09:42 am:

These guys are terrific. My dad was a volunteer fireman down in Texas. He worked his way up through the ranks, and took the classes and became an EMT, all after he was 65 years old! He became President of the Fire District, and was an active fireman until he passed away at age 77.

One thing that all of you who live in volunteer fire districts can do to show your appreciation is to support them when they have fund raisers, etc. They need this to buy their fire equipment, etc. My dad picked up a brand new fire engine in Wichita Falls, TX, an hour before one of its biggest tornadoes went right thru there & tore out the plant, etc.

By JARMO ITÄNIEMI (Japei) on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 10:06 am:

So can be seen spring coming also in there..here in FINLAND its yet few weeks in overdue!

By Brian R. Juntikka (Polkatime) on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 10:19 am:

I did ten years of service in the Iona-McGregor Volunteer Fire Department here in suburban Fort Myers, Florida from 1971 to 1981. Today, that entity is the Iona-McGregor Fire Protection & Rescue Service District - a fully paid tax supported local government.

Three out of every four firefighters in The United States today are volunteer, and in the Copper Country, that figure is much higher. The fire departments of the Copper Country are highly localized and extremely efficient organizations which work very well together under mutual aid agreements.

Today's volunteer firefighters do a lot more than fight fires, however. The handling of hazardous materials and chemical spills falls upon the local fire departments as do rescue services like extrication from wrecked vehicles, the control of brush fires and burn permits, the inspection of buildings and the enforcement of fire safety codes and, as time goes on, the expansion into the field of emergency medical service.

The fire departments of the Copper Country have a reputation for dedication and quality that goes back more than a century. They are a classic example of why smaller and more localized organizations work better than larger more bureaucratic ones do. Accordingly, they operate on tax levies and budgets that are most reasonable.

In short, they do a darned good job!

By Michael Du Long (Mikie) on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 11:45 am:

One of the finest firemen in the Copper Country was my cousin Reuban Red DuLong. When he passed on the fire dept. used a fire truck to move the casket to the church and then to the cemetary. Only could happen in the copper Country, or a small town.My son in law is volunteer while my son is a policeman/fireman commander.

By Glad to be in the U.P. (Lahelo) on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 12:42 pm:

Plutchak Brothers service station, repair and convenience store is a total loss, http://www.ironwoodglobe.com/0418mfir.htm

By Mary Lou Curtin (Marylou) on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 01:33 pm:

.........One of the best Volunteer Fire Departments is the Bootjack Dept..they do a great job...and have one of the best "Chicken BBQs" to raise funds.....it is the social event of the year in Bootjack!!!....so if you're up there in July ??..(usually about the 3rd weekend I think) do youself a favor and be sure to get out there.... buy your tickets before you go....it is a great meal and you can give them your support..

By Capt. Paul & Dr. Nat in Texas (Eclogite) on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 01:44 pm:

It's very traditional to carry a fallen fireman to the church and cemetary in a fire engine, not just in the Copper Country. In the town where my father was chief, the former chief had passed away and as an act of kindness they took him to the church and then the cemetary in the same truck that he and a few others fought so hard to purchase for the township.

Brian is also right in that the small town volunteer firemen (and women) do a whole lot more than just put out fires. When it comes to anything emergency response related, it's usually the small town fire departments that are the first to be on scene. So its no wonder that, in some cases, the smaller departments are better trained than the larger city crews because they have to be a "jack of all trades" of sorts where the larger ones can focus on strictly being a firefighter. I'm sure anyone that has been on a small town crew would agree........

By gary pieknik (Ricelake_gary) on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 02:43 pm:

Red Dulong, One of Lake Lindens finest firefighters. Uncle, you are greatly missed. A special hats off to all the volunteers and DNR firefighters that responed to the RIce Lake fire last summer.

By Gary W. Long (Gary_in_co) on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 03:11 pm:

Structural Fire training, Wildland Fire training, Emergency Medical Technician Training, Hazardous Materials training, Ice Rescue training, Swift Water Rescue training, Urban Search and Rescue training, Trench Rescue training, Confined Space training, Weapons of Mass Destruction training. Even with all that, we make time to respond to actual emergencies. Thanks for all the words of support. And don’t forget, Firefighters come in both the Male and Female varieties!!!

By Steve Haagen (Radsrh) on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 05:37 pm:

Here is a picture after the fire.

By JanieT (Bobbysgirl) on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 06:08 pm:

A fallen fire fighter is carried by a fire engine as well here in the big city in Iowa that I live in.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 06:28 pm:

Mary Lou, Definitely the Bootjack chicken BBQ is a no-miss. I've been to so many of them, but none in the last quite a few years. I wouldn't miss them when I lived UP there. And it's a great way to support them. They work hard, or at least they used to. I'm sure they still do. Everybody should try their BBQ at least once in their life times.

By elm (Grampy) on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 07:41 pm:

Thanks Steve for the picture after the fire, such a sad sight. We used to live in Mass when Dick and Miles had it. A great family. It was truly service with a smile. Always there to help someone.

By DH (Daveintemecula) on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 09:06 pm:

There's also a tradition that the funeral procession for a fallen firefighter will pass by the firestation where they served. Their turnout gear will be on display with the boots facing away from the street.

By Michael Du Long (Mikie) on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 09:42 pm:

Thats what I like here I learn something new everyday.

By Walter P McNew (Waltermcnew) on Thursday, April 13, 2006 - 06:10 pm:


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