California Professional Firefighters

State Legislators Take The Heat at Fire Ops 101

More than 40 California State Legislators and staff members participated in the California Professional Firefighters Fire Ops 101 training session March 5 on the west steps of the Capitol and got a chance to take some heat, albeit not from their constituents.

As part of the demonstration, participants were escorted through a burn trailer for a fire attack with charged hoses while wearing full turnouts and SCBAs. They were able to climb to the top of a 105-foot ladder for breath-taking views of the Capitol and downtown Sacramento and got to handle chain saws during roof ventilation simulations atop the burn trailer.

"This is the only Fire Ops of its kind in the country," CPF President Lou Paulson said. "We do these so the Legislators know what we do on a daily basis so when they make policy in the Capitol, they have a better understanding of our needs. What we do here has a ripple effect across the United States."

More than 60 off-duty firefighters from several jurisdictions volunteered to staff the all-day event and made sure the decision makers got to experience and learn about the real challenges firefighters face every day.

"It was truly an amazing experience, just incredible," said State Sen. Andy Vidak (R-Hanford). "It was an eye-opener. It was hot and I couldn't see or hear very well(in the burn trailer). But I had good backup and I knew I was safe. Every elected official should have to go through (Fire Ops 101) and see what the bravest among us go through."

To see a photo gallery from Fire Ops 101, go HERE.