Wildfire program hones skills
Ryan Summerlin October 9, 2012
The Park City Fire District, which encompasses the same 110 square-miles as the Park City School District, joined a multi-state wildland fire fighting program this summer.
About a third of the District’s fire fighters already have some wildland fire experience, as many fight wildland fires during the summer while attending college for extra money.
"Our goal was to help those guys who have done it before to keep up on their skills, but more importantly, to give our new guys, and even our older guys who have never really done large campaign-type wildland fires, some really good experience and increase their skill set," Park City Fire District Capt. Dave Marsella said.
Not all of the District’s fire fighters participate, as many have young children or other impediments, and they can be gone for as long as two weeks at a time with only two hours notice.
This summer, the group has fought fires in Wyoming, Idaho, South Dakota and Nebraska.
"It’s a long ride in a fire engine to Nebraska," Marsella said with a laugh.
One of the District’s captains spent five days doing structure protection in Wyoming. After he returned, he ended up fighting the Fox Bay fire in Wasatch County doing a similar job.
"So he had a much better understanding of how those things work," Marsella said. "So, so far it’s gone very well. We’ve been out almost 50 days total, and all of our evaluations have come back great. Our guys have worked really hard. And more importantly, a lot of our guys have gotten great experience. I think we’re going to do the same thing next year."