| Barbara Lawlor • Gilpin County |
Firefighters don’t just show up at a burning building or raging wildland fire and jump in with a hose. They have been trained to do what’s right, and especially to do what’s safe to extinguish a fire or treat an injured person.
The Timberline Fire Protection District has initiated a program that introduces teens to firefighting and gives interested young adults a chance to wear the bunker gear and the skills to assist in an emergency situation. Program organizer Chris Schimanskey said he has three cadets signed up for the fall training, which takes place during the school year, at night and on weekends and offers credit for the training hours. In the last couple of programs, two Nederland High School students were a part of the cadet team, James Cook and Amy Wenzel, and Schimanskey hopes that more Nederland students will sign on with the program.
On Thursday, he told the cadets, “When you are called to an accident scene, it could be up to you to talk to the patient, to tell him that an ambulance is on the way and calm him down. “I once had a woman who had a compound fracture, her bone sticking out of her leg, and all I could do was hold her hand, but it works. It has a big effect on a patient who could go into shock.”
Schimanskey recited the basic ABCs of first aid to the students: Airway, Breathing and Circulation. He had firefighter Jerry Johnson sprawl on the floor while cadet Cammy Cullar rolled him over to the recovery position, on his side, which is the very least, but not the most important, action to take.
Cammy Cullar, Ian Hinderman and Levi Beaudette are the Gilpin County cadets this season. They will learn the basics of firefighting and will be on scene of fires and accidents, under supervision. Hinderman is a junior at Fairview High School and said curiosity brought him into the program and now he said it is a lot of fun.
Beaudette said: “I joined to help people. My dad is a lieutenant in the district and he got me started. I have watched him help people since I was seven and now I want to be a firefighter.”
Schimanskey recently received a $1,000 grant, and he said the cadets have designed a jacket for themselves that will designate them as TFPD cadets. Every Thursday, the teens will wear their jackets, with pride, to school, becoming ambassadors of the program.
For more information call Chris at 303-582-5784 or TFPD at 303-582-5768.