August was a busy month for City of Decatur Fire/Rescue. We did a lot of training, came up with new ideas, and are excited about doing even more in September. We had a number of firefighters attend classes. Firefighters Michael Soto and Garrett Range went to a heavy rescue class. Bernard Tarplin completed his paramedic class and will soon take the national registry test. Inspector Nathaniel Dansby is one of the first from our department to become a level 2 certified inspector, and Lieutenant Kevin Rice is attending class to become a Fire Inspector I. Gary Menard attended a class on using a Community Resiliency Model to reduce stress and the after effects of trauma, And Beth Sanford graduated the Georgia Public Safety Training Center last Thursday and became an official state certified firefighter.
We have many new firefighters at our stations and we just hired one more, welcoming Ben Alexander. This month crews practiced extrication on crumpled vehicles from S and W Towing, the shifts worked on the EMS skills doing practice IVs and EZIOs, and Out of Darkness, an organization that tries to stop sex trafficking came to Station 1 to do a presentation on how we can serve to help the organization. They stated we were one of the first fire departments to register and be trained by them. We expanded our concern by contacting Christian City to make the City of Decatur Fire Stations “Safe Places” for children and teens. We will get our signs for the buildings soon.
The firefighters have been working hard on improving their level of fitness. Every person was issued a Fitbit and can now compete with one another at work. To make fitness even harder, some of them are wearing BlastMasks during workouts to improve their VO2 max and wear their air masks more frequently. The first Decatur Fire/Rescue Fitness Team now exists. The first run was last week and several residents came and ran with the team.
Lastly, Fire CAPS (citizens assisting public safety) met to discuss how we can improve the program to better serve our community. The turnout was great and Fire CAPS future looks bright!
The department is now preparing for a few events in September. Captain James Meyers will be retiring, there will be more fire and EMS training and there will be several promotional tests- for Fire Apparatus Operator, Sergeant, and Lieutenant. There will be a special event at station one on September 11th. Personnel and residents are welcome to participate and complete as many of the 35 trips to the top of the training tower that they are comfortable with. The 35 trips up will represent the 2071 steps up the World Trade Center in honor of the firefighters who lost their lives during the 9/11 attacks. Citizens Assisting Public Safety personnel will be present to help count the laps, hand out drinks, and keep the music going.