Firefighter Extrication, Search & Rescue Training

Firefighter Extrication, Search & Rescue Training

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.

 Firefighter Extrication, Search & Rescue Training

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.

 Firefighter Extrication, Search & Rescue Training

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.

 Firefighter Extrication, Search & Rescue Training

 Firefighter Extrication, Search & Rescue Training

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.

 Firefighter Extrication, Search & Rescue Training

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.

 Firefighter Extrication, Search & Rescue TrainingI 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.

 Firefighter Extrication, Search & Rescue Training

 Firefighter Extrication, Search & Rescue Training

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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  1. anita roth says:

    My daughter will be marrying a firemen/paramedic on labor day weekend. He is a great guy so happy to have him apart of our family. I know his job can be very dangerous and stressful ! I pray for him everyday that he will be protected!

    1. Anita my son is doing his EMT training next, I hope he like the medical side of it better it seems less dangerous.

  2. Kathleen G says:

    I know a few retired firemen and their dedication for others is still apparent.
    What they experience is not for the faint of heart. Kathleen in Az

    1. Kathleen with us living in a small town when he gets called out he always knows the person. I think that would be very hard, but somehow he deals with it all.

  3. When I was 16 (a *few* years ago) and a new driver, a man ran a red light and t-boned my VW–I had to be cut out of the car. To this day, I still remember the wonderful firefighter who held my hand and kept me as calm as possible in the midst of the chaos all around me. I don’t remember much else about that situation, but I DO remember him! Thankful that your son and others choose to do this work.

    1. Aw Denise what a remarkable memory and I bet that fireman would love to know how much of a help he was to you 🙂 Makes my cry!

  4. Brave men in every way….not only they have to deal with crucial rescues an fire, they do it in every condition and many times not the best of conditions….Bravo to them!

    1. Shirley the fires are always in the middle of the night, the freezing cold, or horrible circumstance but I guess that’s all part of it.

  5. High Five High Five High Five!!! Oh that’s so awesome you were able to photograph this. Wonderful photos. I know you are so proud and you should be , I would be too. Growing up my father was a policeman and my BFF her father was a fireman. So I have the utmost respect and love for our men and women serving in both these departments.
    Thank you for sharing that Dawn and God Bless your son. High five!!

    1. Melissa so you know all too well how dangerous these jobs are and how thankful we are to have people like this out there that risk their lives every day. Thank you for leaving a comment about your father and bff’s father, it warms my heart 🙂

  6. Wonderful post Dawn. I get it completely. My son is a police officer 5 years now, it doesn’t get easier. You close your eyes and pray. Firefighters are so courageous and brave. Cudos to your son.

    1. Diana every time he goes out on a fire I pace the floors. He always calls as soon as he’s out of danger though to let me know he’s safe.

  7. Kay Stutes says:

    My son is currently in the Fire Science program. He is studying EMT right now. I am really proud, as I know you are.

    1. Kay my son is doing the EMT portion next. I’ve never heard of Fire Science, I bet it’s interesting.

  8. Hi Dawndie! I’m sorry you got so cold but what a beautiful job you did on capturing the fire fighters! I have a couple of friends who do this also and they are really our heroes! Thanks for popping in to see me and yes, the windows on my sun porch are slanted. I really wish they weren’t, but it is what it is! 🙂
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

    1. Shelia thank you for stopping in and I think your windows are a unique feature, I was wondering how you washed them though.

  9. Cheryl Major says:

    Dawn, You do such a amazing job taking the pictures. I would love to see your video’s. As I mentioned before my husband is a volunteer fire fighter and when I show him your fire related posts he really enjoys them. Thank you for sharing about such a hard / demanding job, that is so vital .

    1. Cheryl I have them on my FB page if you’d like I will send you a friend request so you can see them 🙂

  10. Doug Vogel says:


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