Rural Fire Departments Train to Combat Car and Structure Fires

Two volunteer rural departments and the Duluth Fire Department train in Lakewood.

LAKEWOOD, Minn.- Two rural Fire Departments and the Duluth Fire Department teamed up for training, to work on their response to car and structure fires.

The two rural departments, Lakewood and Normanna, are volunteer run, with the training taking place at Lakewood Fire Hall.

Crews burned a test car supplied by the State Fire Marshall, to simulate the high flames and quick spread of a vehicle fire.

This is the second time these teams have participated in this training, as required by the state.

“[It] creates a cohesiveness we all get a chance to work together,” said Lakewood Fire Chief Kurt Rogers. “Flames get, y’know, 10–12 feet above the car right now and you can actually feel the radiant heat coming off.”

“So like I said it simulates real fire because it is real fire.”

Volunteers say the practice is key to help them get through any bumps or mistakes before addressing a real fire in the field.

“This gives you an opportunity to learn from your mistakes where as if on the field or in the field you don’t really get that opportunity,” Lakewood Volunteer Emily Thompson said.

They encourage more people to get involved with their local fire department, as volunteer numbers are low nationwide.

“A lot of us live in the rural community where it’s a lot longer wait for help so it’s nice to know you can help a neighbor out,” Normanna Volunteer Cassie Pohl said.

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