New recruits train with local Fire District No. 1

Volunteer candidate Darius Taylor works his way through the physical agility portion of the Fire District No. 1 test. This timed activity tests cardio-vascular fitness and both upper and lower body strength.

OCEAN PARK - Pacific County Fire District No. 1 recently welcomed five new volunteer firefighters to its ranks.

Recruits must prove themselves by passing written and phyical agility tests. For example, Rick Bonney worked out on the "chopping station" that tests upper body strength, while Darius Taylor pitted himself against the stair climb, which tests cardio-vascular fitness and lower body strength.

After completing a police background check and doctor's physical, successful candidates will attend a fire district orientation and receive their station assignments. New firefighters will begin the recruit academy in January 2003, where they will be taught the basics of structural and wildland firefighting.

The final exam includes a live fire training where candidates will test their knowledge in an actual structure fire. Fire District No. 1 also offers free training for certification as an emergency medical technician (EMT) for those interested.

"Volunteer firefighters have begun the first step toward a career as a professional firefighter," said Pacific County Fire District No. 1 Fire Chief Tom O'Donohue. "If you are interested in pursuing a career as a firefighter or just want to help your community, call or come by the district office and pick up your information packet and application."

O'Donohue finished up by asking, "If your neighbor's home was on fire, wouldn't you rather do more than just watch?"

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