FARGO, ND (Valley News Live) – Firefighting crews from several different communities in Minnesota took part in a training exercise at a donated farm in Lake Park. The owner said he had two options when it came to the old home, either have it demolished or donate it to the Lake Park Fire Department.
“When you hear something like that, you can actually get a hands-on approach to firefighting.” said Lake Park Fire Chief Dave Coufal.
Rick Julian bought the house in the early 90s, and it had fallen apart over the years. When it came time to make plans for the land, Julian wanted to remove the house to build a new one. It was then that he called the LPFD to give them the house to use for training.
“Oh, we’re very grateful to them and so we thought it was a great way to repay the community and give them the opportunity here to do a lot of great training.” says Julian.
The farm served as a proving ground for these firefighters, with each of them traversing each room to tackle different scenarios. For some of them, it was their first time fighting a fire. This has given them valuable training as they take the next steps with their departments. The exercises also highlighted the mutual support between the various firefighters. is a beneficial tool, especially in outlying communities.
“We have to train together because we are going to work together on the rural scene,” said fire chief Coufal. “Someone is having the worst day of their life, you know they call us and we come there, help them and do our best. Without the help of the surrounding communities, I mean, let’s face it , people who volunteer these days are decreasing, not increasing.
Lake Park Fire was joined by the departments of Hitterdal, Hawley, Pelican Rapids and Audubon.
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