Camino, CA, October 13, 2021 – El Dorado County Fire Protection District is passing on firefighting gear to assist community college students learning to be firefighters. This month dozens of sets of turnouts were donated to the Lake Tahoe Basin Fire Academy at Lake Tahoe Community College. This gear will provide realistic training equipment for fire academy students to wear while they learn the hands-on skills necessary to be firefighters.
The turnout gear donated has already lived out a full service life with the El Dorado County Fire Protection District — protecting local firefighters while they responded to structural fires and other emergencies over the past decade. When the Fire District purchases new turnout gear, they hope to get 10 years of use out of each garment. Although ten years is the industry limited goal, turnouts can have significantly shorter lives when subject to heat damage, frequent use, moisture barrier damage, laundering and other physical damage. The integrity of this equipment is critical because it protects firefighters from heat, flames, steam and chemical contaminants while they save lives and property. This protective equipment is inspected when damaged or at least annually. When a garment is found to be unrepairable or more than 10 years old, the item is retired. Having somewhere for retired protective equipment to go to can provide a renewed life for the old gear.
Although a retired garment cannot be used in immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH) environments such as fires they may still remain functional as a training garment. Fire academies, like the Lake Tahoe Community College, have plenty of drills to perform that would ordinarily put excessive strain on and cause damage to protective equipment. Having ‘grinder’ gear, such as the donated items, prevents costly and unnecessary damage to actual in-service protective equipment while academy recruits are completing non-IDLH training.
“The Lake Tahoe Basin Fire Academy has been relying on donations of training turnouts since its inception,” says Lake Tahoe Basin Fire Academy Coordinator and Instructor Kileigh Labrado. She continues, “with all the training we do in the fire academy, the pants take the most abuse. Without donations of training gear we would not be able to afford "new" turnouts every two years for 25 to 35 cadets.” Ultimately, Labrado states “without these turnouts, we could not outfit the cadets.” In order to promote a uniform and professional look within the academy classes having matching turnouts like the ones donated keep cadets consistently outfitted and looking the same. “We can outfit our cadets in the same color turnouts. Uniformity is a big deal at the Lake Tahoe Basin Fire Academy,” says Labrado.
The El Dorado County Fire Protection District provides fire and EMS services in the communities of Placerville, Shingle Springs, Pollock Pines, Camino, Pleasant Valley, Cool, Coloma, Lotus, Pilot Hill, Pleasant Valley, Oak Hill, Strawberry, and Kyburz.
See release here:Press Release October 13 2021.pdf
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