|A MOBIL TRAINING UNIT FROM WISCONSIN INDIAN HEAD COMMUNITY COLLEGE..|
|GIVES LOCAL VOLUNTEER FIREMEN...|
|...TO DON SPECIAL EQUIPMENT...|
|AND PRACTICE UNDER REAL-LIFE FIRE AND SMOKE CONDITIONS|
As we returned yesterday from the recycle center outside Red Cliff we drove through heavy smoke, and glancing about saw that it was fire and rescue training, provided on-site by the Wisconsin Indian Head Technical College.
A large number of voluteer firemen were dressed in their fire and smoke gear, with protective clothing and oxygen tanks, waiting their turn to enter the smoke filled trailer provided by the school. This was evidently a pretty sophisticated simulation, and the training serious business.
We have lived in communities with volunteer emergency services and those with paid professionals, and have always felt the two to be functionally pretty similar, but rural volunteers are becoming a scarce commodity, as young people seek work elsewhere, and older volunteers become fewer and fewer, and the community tax base struggles to provide support for either volunteers or paid professionals.