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Firefighter recruits put critical skills to the test

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The fire recruits of Guam Fire Department's current cycle are nearing the final stretch, but first they have to undergo another series of skill and practical assessments.  

In the beginning, the fire recruits start in the classroom, learning the theories, basic concepts and terminology, and fundamentals of being a firefighter. Now the men and women of the 21st Fire Cycle headed to the stations for hands on training and testing for fire operations and practical assessments, putting what they've learned thus far into place.

Cadre Battalion Chief Dean Aguon explained, saying, "A lot of things that we have to accomplish and check off on their skills, we have to go out to the field."

At the Tamuning Fire Station, recruits were evaluated by pro-board certified firefighters on the donning of the self-contained breathing apparatus as well as the inspecting and changing out. Lt. Joseph M. Sablan is with the GFD Training Bureau and told KUAM News, "The most important part of this is we just want them to be competent and know exactly where the equipment and proficiency should come at the fire station."

Up at the Dededo Fire Station, the 44 fire recruits were then tested in knot tying, hoisting, and roping. "To hoist equipment, so later on in the academy, we'll show lifelines and how to package patients but in this particular skill it's about hoisting equipment, hoisting tools, charge lines, and using the proper knots and hitches," he demonstrated.

Later in the week, fire recruits made their way to Agat for three training evolutions. Battalion Chief Ed Artero said, "Today, we're simulating exiting hazardous environment, then also going in to search for a down firefighter, and from there it evolves into a rapid intervention team, that's all into one evolution. And then the other one, rescuing a conscious and unconscious person from an elevated platform."

All the training has them one step closer to pro-board certification and ultimately becoming a firefighter.

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