Southern Idaho Fire Academy
If anyone was driving on Highway 27 between Paul and Burley over the weekend they probably caught sight of a lot of fire fighters and wondered what was going on. This weekend was the annual Southern Idaho Fire Academy, or SIFA.
SIFA provides firefighters with hands on training and education over the course of two days. The event offers more than twenty different courses that teach everything from basic emergency response and firefighting techniques up to advanced critical thinking and investigation skills. The training courses vary from class room course work and demonstrations to actual hands on scenarios.
At any given point a passerby might witness a line of firefighters filing through the live fire and smoke simulation trailers, using extrication equipment on actual wrecked cars, or even repelling down from the tower with ropes and harnesses.
The event draws around 500 firefighters, instructors, and vendors from all over the intermountain west. This year the award for the department that travelled the furthest went to the Worden Fire Department from Montana. They had travelled over 500 miles.
While a lot of these people are career firefighters, as many if not more, work on a volunteer basis. These people all sacrifice their time, away from home, to gain the skills necessary to protect the people and property in their respective communities. There is a very diverse cross section of people that call themselves fire fighters. Just this weekend we saw medical professionals, construction workers, insurance agents, as well as, countless others professionals that all have one thing in common; the desire to serve their communities.
That same desire to serve is what has brought us to this event for the past six years. On The Spot has had the privilege of providing lunch to all of these men and women as our way of saying thanks for protecting our communities. By nature, these same men and women are selfless and gracious, and as small as a gesture as it might seem, it is truly appreciated by all and makes all of the effort well worth it.
As I child of a veteran firefighter, I know how close the people that risk their lives together become. It is truly a privilege to witness the comradery on display as all of these people from different walks of life get together to learn from one another and share their collective knowledge. These people have each other’s backs in the most literal sense.
We at On The Spot want these people, that risk their own personal safety and sacrifice time away from their family and loved ones, to know that it doesn’t go unnoticed. In an often thankless society, it is our hope to support these brave men and women, and just say thanks for all that you do.
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