During the extrication drill, Larsen-Wright and co-workers were responsible for stabilizing and transporting to the ambulance the supposedly injured mannequins. Larsen-Wright recently completed 144 hours of training, which, as Muthig suggests, is one of the responsibilities of a volunteer.
“There are many levels of training,” firefighter Chris Martin explained. “Recruits can choose what best fits their skills.”
Training includes, but is not limited to, scene support, bailouts, rope work, survival, interior firefighting and EMS. Volunteers attend meetings, practices and training to ensure they are ready for a variety of scenarios.
But it’s not all hard work for these volunteers. Children and families were among those in attendance on Saturday, munching on hot dogs and exploring the building.
“It’s a family all right,” Muthig said with a smile. “Some of our volunteers are second-generation volunteers.”
The effort to reverse the recent decline in volunteers by educating and drawing in more members was evident last week in more 50 counties in the state. The public was shown just what it means to be a volunteer. Training is conducted at fire departments throughout the region and at the Delaware County training facility in Hamden. Free training is provided so frequently that volunteers can schedule it into their daily lives. Volunteers don’t have to live within the village or town in which they volunteer.