Firefighters preparing for fire season

Mountain Area volunteer firefighters (paid call) recently completed 40 hours of training to become qualified as Fire Engine Pump Operators - the 17 firefighters are now certified by the State Fire Marshall.

The firefighters were trained to safely and effectively operate the complex pumps found on today’s modern fire engines. The pump operations class followed the 40 hour Driver-Operator course completed earlier, where firefighters had to show they could maintain the firefighting equipment, and safely drive a fire engine to and from an emergency.

The classes were sponsored by the Auxiliaries to the Yosemite Lake Park and North Fork fire companies, in cooperation with the Madera County Fire Department, and Cal Fire.

Skills practice and testing was held in a portion of the empty Chukchansi Gold Casino parking lot, and the crew from Station 8 (near the casino) assisted.

Due to current drought conditions, reclaimed water was used in the testing.

“These classes are vital to increasing our volunteer’s skills and certifying more volunteers to drive the apparatus, while increasing the safety factor for everyone,” said Cal Fire/Madera County Fire Battalion Chief Troy Cheek. “This is a great example of the cooperative relationship between Cal Fire, Madera County Fire, and the communities they serve. It shows great dedication by the volunteers to devote this many hours away from their families to better prepare themselves to assist the citizens of Madera County.”

Cheek said the department is always looking for more volunteers, and anyone interested is encouraged to contact their local fire station for further information.

- Madera County Fire Department