Fallen Firefighters Honored Through Training in Scanlon

Posted at: 09/25/2013 8:40 PM
Updated at: 09/25/2013 10:12 PM
By: Laurie Stribling

Each year, about 100 firefighters die in the line of duty, but a group visiting the Northland this week is hoping to bring that number down.

Six members from the International Association of Firefighters are in Scanlon at the Cloquet Area Fire District station teaching life-saving techniques.

"We're teaching how to keep our firefighters safe when they are in a dangerous situation and need to get out," IAFF member Andrew Ruiz said.

Each drill is based on a situation where a firefighter was killed in the line of duty.

"Unfortunately, we have lost members," Ruiz said. "We teach this program to honor them so it never happens to anyone else."

"It makes it realistic," Cloquet Area Fire Captain Chad Vermeersch said. "It makes it more valuable to us."

Vermeersch said the program was made possible thanks to a federal firefighting assistance grant. He said firefighters at this week's training will go home and share the knowledge.

"This teaches us to go back and teach our firefighters to survive our worst day at work," Vermeersch said.

Along with Cloquet Area Fire District members, firefighters from Duluth, Hibbing, Virginia and Superior were also at the training.

The training wraps up on Thursday.