The Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Fire Service Training Bureau summer school for firefighters is underway in Ames. Bureau chief Randy Novak says some 500 firefighters are taking part. They’ll use personal protective and breathing equipment with classes such as interior fire attack, vehicle extrication, tractor rollover, vehicle firefighting and handling LP gas. Novak says the classes give the firefighters some real life training that will help them on the job. According to Novak, preparation is the key to anything and the training allows firefighters to learn skills that they hopefully won’t have to use, but will have just in case. Novak says many of the classes cover the tried and true aspects of firefighting, but he says there’ve also been changes. He says they have to incorporate some of the newer concepts and training that have come into use since 9-11. Novak says it will be more like summer school than summer vacation for the firefighters. The students have choices of half-day workshops, a one day class or two-day class. He says they’ll walk away tired, but will also have learned some things. Novak says 90-percent of the state’s firefighters are volunteers and the majority of the firefighters at the school are also volunteers. This is the 82nd annual summer fire school.
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