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Well February was an exciting month for the Fire Department. We had some training opportunities thrown our way as well as some more snow, that we eagerly shoveled to the side of our apparatus ramps, stupid ground hog seeing his shadow. But all in all a decent month for the Fire Department.

Earlier this month a few firefighters received some much deserved recognition for their hard work. Firefighters Joe Renaldi and Kyle Eldridge received their Firefighter Level 1 certifications. These two fellas put in numerous study hours to complete the required book work and accompanying written tests. They also completed a list of practical exercises and exams with ease. The level 1 certification is a condition of employment that must be completed before their one year anniversary date and both wrapped up the program well before the deadline. The third firefighter who needs some recognition is Firefighter Dallas Williamson, who completed his Firefighter Level 2 program and received his certification. The firefighter level 2 certification is similar to the level 1 but much more in depth and there is no condition of employment attached to it, but Dallas still deserves his recognition just as much as the other two.

The annual Southern Idaho Fire Academy (SIFA) was held this past month in the Burley area. The Academy is a three-day event full of crucial firefighter training. SIFA makes it possible for volunteer departments and smaller professional departments to get the necessary training needed to successfully do the job, while sharing the cost of the training with other departments. Instructors are brought in from all over the state to teach the classes which cover a wide range and accommodate everyone from the beginner level firefighter to the more seasoned individuals. A few members of TFFD attended and took advantage of this excellent training opportunity. All our boys who attended had a profitable experience and will now be able to apply what they learned to make their firefighting career much more successful. Good job, fellas, keep up the good work!

Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, or CPR for short, is a crucial tool in the Fire Department’s tool box. But every tool needs some sharpening or adjusting every now and then, and that’s what happened this past month. Each shift went through a CPR refresher class to learn the new and improved CPR techniques put out by the American Heart Association. The class was taught by a handful of our own guys, Firefighters Gerry Dillman and Zack Fleming as well as Driver/Operator Brian Rice. These fellas are AHA Certified CPR instructors and more than qualified to teach a bunch of Firemen.

The month of March brings us St. Patrick's Day. A day we honor St. Patrick who created a strong Christian presence in 5th century Ireland by ministering to the Irish natives. St. Patrick’s Day has evolved into a more secular celebration these days or an excuse to drink green beer(like we need an excuse). As firefighters we celebrate this day as a salute to our Irish heritage. Not every firefighter is Irish but we have all adopted the Irish culture. In the mid 1800's 2 out of 5 fire fighters in large American cities were of Irish descent. The Great Irish Potato famine from 1845-1852 brought boat loads of emigrants to America. As you can imagine it was hard for them to find work so they took hard jobs and dangerous jobs that many others didn't want, such as firefighters and police officers. When one of these Irish firefighters or police officers would perish doing their duty, they were given a traditional Irish funeral, including the playing of the bagpipes. Pretty soon even non-Irish families were requesting the haunting sound of the bagpipes for their fallen firefighter, a tradition that continues today. Even though we all don't have Irish in us, our profession surely does. So on March 17th drink a green beer for us, for the fire service wouldn’t be what it is today if it hadn’t been for our Irish ancestors.

Well, that's about it for this month. Until next time don’t forget to wave to the guys in the BRT!