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Seven recruits boost South Whidbey Fire/EMS ranks

Recruits for South Whidbey Fire/EMS build a catch basin that collects and contains water from active sprinklers or runoff from fire hoses.  - Mike Cotton photo
Recruits for South Whidbey Fire/EMS build a catch basin that collects and contains water from active sprinklers or runoff from fire hoses.
— image credit: Mike Cotton photo

South Whidbey Fire/EMS recently welcomed seven members of the community into the 2013 fire academy program.

South Whidbey Fire/EMS firefighter candidates are Robert Armstrong, Brian Johnson, Elizabeth Majestic, and Adam Price (Freeland station); William Suarez (Langley station); and Cameron Clark and Sean McDougald (Bayview station). Photo courtesy of South Whidbey Fire/EMS | Deputy Chief Jon Beck inspects recent South Whidbey Fire/EMS recruit Cameron Clark’s gear.

For the past few weeks their training has mostly been in the classroom, with written, fitness and safety tests, and learning how to use gear and equipment. On Feb. 23 they will join recruits from Central and North Whidbey fire departments for an intensive training in Oak Harbor known as “wet day.”

“This is a full day of conducting salvage operations as they learn how to cause minimal damage to a building during a rescue operation,” said Mike Cotton, South Whidbey Fire/EMS deputy chief.

“They won’t be working with fire, but they’ll get a taste of what it’s like to control hoses and water. It teaches tremendous team building. They are definitely going to get wet.”

Academy lasts six months, involving 150 hours of study, training and testing. Upon graduation in June, the new recruits respond to local emergencies. They will also attend weekly drills and frequent trainings to keep their skills sharp.

To learn more about joining the next academy or how to volunteer in other ways with the department, contact Chief Rusty Palmer at chief@icfd3.org, 360-321-1533 or 5535 Cameron Road, Freeland, Wash. 98249. Applications are available on the district’s website at www.swfe.org

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