Originally Published: March 15, 2015 12:30 p.m.
PRESCOTT VALLEY - The Central Yavapai Fire District celebrated 50 years of service at its Anniversary Main Event Saturday, March 14. With exhibits featuring photos from the district's first 50 years, tours of the Central Yavapai Training Academy and demonstrations, the event saw a turnout greater than expected.
Many came out to support the district and personnel, some of whom were family, and others, like Karen Dusman, went to give their children a chance to see fire trucks and firefighters.
"My four year old is obsessed with fire trucks," Dusman said. "He's a little overwhelmed at the moment."
One of the demonstrations included showing how the Jaws of Life work. Nick Fournier called it an extrication demonstration, noting it's what's done when someone is trapped inside of a car and the top needs to be cut off to get him or her out.
Fournier said extrication via the Jaws of Life is the safest way to make sure the rescuers and patient are safe while rescuing the patient in a timely manner. The fire district extricates "probably three or four times a week, at least," Fournier said. "We're ready to do it should we have to."
Another demonstration involved rappelling and technical rescue capabilities. Fire district personnel are sent to 200 hours of training to become rescue technicians. Adam Wagner called it a lot of fun, stating that when he does it, what's going through his mind is making sure everything is clear below him. He said a patient usually wants to grab him or the rope and he has to be aware of what he's doing.
The turnout to the event was greater than anticipated, according to Anna Corbiere, who works in administration. She said she hopes people walked away with a greater understanding of what the fire district does.
"They're highly trained, they do more than wait for a call to go out, they're constantly training," she said.