Fire departments host first responder training for local residents, city officials
October 1, 2017
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On Saturday, Evanston and Skokie fire departments hosted FIRE OPS 101, a program that helped local residents and city officials understand day-to-day life as a first responder.
Event participants experienced tasks such as vehicular extrication, a fire blast simulation and emergency medical services training. They also engaged in engine company operations, in which participants entered the smoke-filled Skokie drill tower, navigated through rooms and put a hose line in place before looking for “victims.”
Evanston Mayor Steve Hagerty was one of the 18 workshop participants, five of whom came from Evanston. Hagerty acknowledged the importance of having multiple first responders on the scene of an incident — something he was reminded of during the EMS training section of the event, he said.
“I hope that for the elected officials that were here, whether they were Evanston or Skokie, that they have a better understanding about why we send the number of vehicles that we do to incidents that we do,” Hagerty said.
Timothy Gobat, a paramedic and fire apparatus operator with the Evanston Fire Department, directed Saturday’s workshop and said he received positive feedback from participants. Gobat said he hopes to bring more awareness to the intense jobs first responders have.
Gobat said he would like to hold a similar training session in four years.