Firefighters get training

Firefighters, including those from Lime Springs and Chester, trained in the burn simulation trailer.

Training is a very important part of being a volunteer firefighter and local departments got another chance to train this past weekend, June 4-5 at Chester.

The burn simulation trailer from the Iowa Training Bureau was available for training on Saturday and Sunday, after some classroom learning. “The rest is hands-on training,” said Chester Fire Chief Jeff Wendel.

He was very impressed with the nearly 60 firefighters who showed up from Canton, Harmony, Riceville, Chester, LeRoy, Lime Springs, Cresco and Protivin, along with the LeRoy Ambulance.

The weekend was a warm one, which can be hard on the firefighters who are wearing upwards of 30 pounds of equipment. To make sure they are not in stress, they are checked over by EMTs. The group drank over 25 cases of water, purchased by the Chester Fire Department, Auxiliary and donations.

The Chester Fire Department also recently sponsored a Firefighter One Class for about 15 participants. “I was happy that we had 100 percent who tested out,” Wendel said. “So, we’ll be doing another one.”

Local fire departments have been busy in the past few weeks with tornados and fires. Although nobody wants the fire department to be busy, Wendel observes how being busy has increased response time in his crew. With four call outs in the past few weeks, the time it took to get out of the station went from four minutes down to two for the last grass call.

These guys put their lives on the line every time they are called out. Support them in return. This weekend, thank the Chester Fire Department by eating some brats or chicken during Old Settlers Days. Chicken Barbecue starts at 4:00 p.m.

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