Fire school first to unite Washington County fire departments

Firefighters in Washington County took time to practice teamwork on Sunday, getting all of the departments in the county together for the first time.
Published: Mar. 26, 2023 at 11:20 PM CDT
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RIVERSIDE, Iowa (KCRG) - Firefighters in Washington County are more prepared to work together thanks to a fire school training session Saturday and Sunday.

According to Waylon Schultz, Ainsworth Fire Chief, the session was the “first try” at an annual fire training for all of Washington County departments together. Firefighters from eight departments ran through emergency scenarios Sunday morning, putting together all the skills they focused on Saturday.

“Training is priceless,” Jacob Delay, a firefighter with the Riverside Volunteer Fire Department, said.

“A lot of us are small towns around here, so you never know how many people are going to be in town or who’s available all the time,” Schultz said. “So all of our fire departments work together. We have automatic mutual aid in Washington County.”

He added, “The more fluid we can work together, the better off everything goes.”

After running through the scenarios Sunday morning, leaders offered critiques of how they played out, breaking down what went well and what could’ve been improved.

Emergency situations are relatively rare, but Delay said it’s constant training that keeps him and other firefighters ready.

“We don’t do this every day, so we need as much training as possible to learn our equipment and be more efficient at a fireground,” Delay said. “There’s always more to learn.”