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Medals for their mettle

NORTH LIBERTY– Volunteer firefighters with the North Liberty Fire Department combined training with fun on Sunday, Oct. 23, during the department’s second annual Medal Day. Ten firefighters split into two teams to compete in timed events simulating common but critical fire ground skills.
North Liberty’s bravest put on Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA), took on an engine company drill, a truck company drill and practiced setting up the department’s 75-foot aerial ladder. Teams that performed the tasks in the least amount of time received medals and bragging rights.
The skills they practiced are vital in an emergency when every second counts. For example, in the engine company drill, a four-person crew simulated arriving on the scene of a structure fire. Two firefighters put on their SCBA and pulled a pre-connected attack hose off of the pumper engine, flaked it out and removed any kinks while the other two connected the engine to a fire hydrant thus securing a constant water supply. The pump was engaged and water put onto a target concluding the test.
After each event, a critique was held among the crew and with input from officers such as Asst. Chief Bill Schmooke, looking at any safety issues or ways to make the operation go smoother.
Following the morning of events, a chili lunch was served by the NLFD Auxiliary.