Remember dodge ball in school? That wonderfully fun game where you throw balls at each other. Try doing it with heavy firefighter gear on while breathing compressed air through a face mask. We would be lying if we said it wasn't fun and we didn't have a good time, but our "why" we did it was quite different.
It is really all about learning the limits of our air supply that we carry into a burning building while under full exertion. The sport of dodge ball is just a fun way to get hearts pumping and heavy breathing so that each individual firefighter learns his or her personal limits. During the drill each firefighters air consumption statistics and vital signs are monitored and recorded.
On Friday evening April 16th members of the Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, Bloomingdale, Paul Smiths Gabriels, and the Duane Volunteer Fire Departments all got together for a fun but important drill at the North Star Industries gymnasium in Saranac Lake. The Saranac Lake Volunteer Rescue Squad was also on hand to provide EMS coverage and to take vital signs on each of the firefighters who participated.
The drill was conducted in tournament fashion and all had a great time while at the same time learning vital information about personal limits and gathering vital statistics.
We would like to thank all the fire departments who participated as well as Citizens Advocates for the use of the building and the Saranac Lake Volunteer Rescue Squad for their assistance.
While we are not quite sure which fire department won the tournament, we do know the true winner is our community as your first responders are that much more prepared to protect you when called upon to do so.