LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Ken Horn recently returned to Saginaw to continue his Hometown Tour series.
Horn spent the day with Station One of the Saginaw Fire Department learning how to use the equipment, doing training exercises with the crew, and exploring the daily duties of an on-duty firefighter. Station One houses 51 full-time firefighters with 13 on duty at all times. Before becoming a firefighter, trainees must complete 260 hours of training.
“This is the first job I’ve done where I was not only required to get dressed and ready within a certain time limit, but practiced doing so as well,” said Horn, R-Frankenmuth. “The firefighters’ gear is always lined up and ready to go in preparation for the next call. They have this down to a science and are ready in a matter of seconds. During the drills, I was still lacing up my gear and they were dressed and already heading toward the truck.”
After running some drills getting dressed, sliding down the pole from the loft, and other preparation needed in the event of a call, Horn took a brief tour of Station One’s vehicle inventory.
“Each vehicle has a specific purpose, from boats to the smaller fire engines,” Horn said. “What I found to be most impressive was the ladder truck. It has an on-board, 500-gallon water tank and a ladder capable of reaching 100 feet with a spray nozzle on the end. So, not only can they rescue someone trapped in a high-rise, they are also capable of spraying water from up there.”
After completing the introduction to the various equipment on site, the team then gathered in the ladder truck and departed for the training grounds. SFD has property within city limits that they use to conduct training exercises such as ladder use, practice working on pitched roofs and vehicle extractions. They also have a large tower they use to practice running hoses and bucket extractions with the ladder truck.
Once the training exercises on the tower were completed, Horn then moved to the opposite side of the property for the last leg of the tour: The Jaws of Life.
“I’d have to say my favorite part of this particular tour was the vehicle extractions,” Horn said. “Shattering glass with an axe and operating a piece of equipment that clipped and sheered through car doors like a tin can was certainly an exciting experience.”
Horn also noted how important it is for the community to know how extremely prepared the firefighters at SFD are.
“I think it’s great for the community to see this,” Horn said. “Firefighters are the first responders in many emergency situations, not just fires. They remove people from wrecked cars, people who are locked out of their house, people who are trapped inside something, and the list goes on. Giving the community an inside look as to what these folks do on a daily basis and the constant training and state of readiness that they are in should really inspire confidence among the community.
“I want to thank everyone involved in this visit for not only showing me a great time, but a valuable learning experience as well. A special thanks to Aileen Pettinger for organizing the visit, Battalion Chief Tom Raines for allowing the visit to happen, Matt Koch and Steve Orloff for assisting me with the drills and lastly, Captain James Champney for the incredible meal at the end of the tour.”
For video of this and previous tours, click here.
Horn’s Hometown Tours feature various communities in the 32nd District. If you are interested in having Horn visit, please contact his office at (517) 373-1760, toll-free at (855) 347-8032 or by email at SenKHorn@senate.michigan.gov.
PHOTO 1 CAPTION: State Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, and Lt. Aileen Pettinger (right) round up the gear Horn would be needing for the day’s training.
PHOTO 2 CAPTION: State Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, and Engineer Bob Weaver make their way to the top of the training tower in the department’s ladder truck.
PHOTO 3 CAPTION: State Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, stops for a photo with members of Saginaw Fire Department after training exercises with the Jaws of Life.