Another day for me of having the pleasure of capturing these hero’s in training. This week was extrication, search and rescue training. I spent 5 hours in the fridge temps taking photos and making videos. I did have to go back to the truck a few times to thaw out my camera equipment, and warm up my hands. Luckily I dressed for the occasion but I can’t wear gloves when shooting so my hands were numb several times throughout the day.
The extrication was done outside with donated cars. Until you have a family member that’s part of a fire department I didn’t even know cars were needed for training nor did it ever cross my mind.
It was amazing to watch the boys work as a team and use the jaws of life to cut open the car. So much detail is involved in the training, right down to how to protect the patients from glass breakage when the vehicle is being cut apart. I’ve always thought of it from a by standers point of view, just get the person out. I‘ve never thought how scary it must be to not be able to see and hear glass breaking and the car being ripped apart.
I stood and chatted with one instructor and he told me about the “Golden Hour”, yes I know as photographers it has a totally different meaning but for rescuers it’s the hour window of time that they like to arrive on site and have everyone rescued in. I’m learning a lot just being the mom of a firefighter.
I’m so honored that they allow me to be involved in the training sessions and be the shutterbug. I’ve learned everyone involved really enjoys seeing the photos and actually requests them. I’ve added all the videos online so family and friends can see how hard these kids are working to become firefighters.
I was so thankful when they moved inside to do the search and rescue phase; finally a chance to defrost. The guys were sweating with all that gear on even outside. I can’t imagine going into a fire with all that heavy gear. I know when my son comes home from a fire everything is wet with sweat.
After this training session he went to a grass fire (controlled burn) at our wildlife preserve that apparently didn’t stay under control. We’re quickly approaching grass fire season in our neck of the wood so I’m sure he’ll be out on many more calls.
If you see a firefighter today, thank them for their service, you never know how much you’ll appreciate them until the time comes for you to make that call. I know my son is working very hard, and risking his own life in dedicating himself to help those in need.
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