Community leaders get trained in Fire Ops 101

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WEST VALLEY CITY - Dozens of community leaders traded in their suits and high heels for water hoses at Fire Ops 101 in West Valley City.

The course allows well-known members of our community - mayors, city council members and state lawmakers - to get a hands-on glimpse of what firefighters do on a day-to-day basis.

"We provide an opportunity for local elected officials - whether they be legislators, city council, mayors and those kind - to mingle with the fire guys themselves," said Bob Fitzgerald, West Valley City Fire Marshall. "When they get to do this hands-on experience they get a sense of what it's really like."

Every year, the Metro City Fire Dept. sets up four stations to help get the firefighter experience; participants get to search for a victim in smokey environment, use the Jaws of Life to extract someone from a vehicle, a hazardous materials and technical rescue and a medical scenario.

The event is more than just a day of fun, but fire officials say it's a way to let community leaders know the importance of our first responders and the importance of good funding for them.

"These are the decision makers; these are the guys who can help our job in a better fashion," said Fitzgerald.

Participants say that the event has really opened their eyes to the importance of the fire department.