Rescue 101

Between rashes of fires, missing hikers, automobile accidents and soon-to-be floods, the areas fire and rescue personnel actually spend much of their time in the classroom. OK, so their classroom may be in burn towers, frozen lakes and dry forests, but hey .. .its all in a days work. To make matters more interesting, the majority of area firefighters do not get paid. They are strictly volunteer. And how do half a dozen fire and rescue units work together so well? Whether its at a burn tower in Farmington or in the icy waters of Lemon Reservoir, they also train together.

Mike Krupa, with Durango Fire and Rescue, instructs several
rookies on how to navigate through black, smokey rooms while
sweeping the scene for victims at the burn tower in Farmington. A rookie runs the tube, complete with full oxygen tank and
mask. Ladder skills are, and have always been, essential for any good
fire crew. Fellow trainees help each other out after a long, tight crawl
with full gear. Andy Miller, with the Upper Pine District, takes an enthusiastic
dive into freezing water before his turn to play the victim. A class readies itself for cold water rescue training. Chris Burns, with the Upper Pine District, bobs in Lemon during
a recent cold-water rescue training.