The goals of fire response are to suppress fires and protect lives, property and the environment. Our firefighters are highly trained to respond to these fires in a quick and efficient manner. Duties of firefighters during a fire response include:
Search and rescue – firefighters search a building for victims and perform rescues.
Suppression -crews enter a burning building to locate and extinguish a fire. Based on the severity, size, and potential for unsafe structural conditions; crews may be forced to battle the fire from the exterior.
Command and safety – a commander oversees the operation and ensures firefighter safety.
Ventilation – firefighters cut holes in roofs and remove windows to remove hot gases and smoke so firefighters inside the building can locate and extinguish the fire. Ventilating a building can also provide “good” air for trapped occupants.
Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) – firefighters must stand by to rescue injured or trapped firefighters inside a building.
Salvage and overhaul – firefighters minimize damage to personal items by covering or removing them from the building. They also open walls and ceilings to extinguish fires that could later rekindle.
Investigation – investigators determine the cause of the fire.
Rehab – a crew helps firefighters get rehydrated and cooled down after being inside a building.
Emergency Medical Services
A common perception is that a firefighter’s primary tools are a fire hose and ax. While those tools of the trade are a part of a firefighters’s job, they must be equally familiar with administering an electric shock to restart a heart, or extricate an accident victim from a crushed vehicle while simultaneously treating their injuries. In fact, nearly 80% of the calls that a South Thurston firefighter responds to are for medical emergencies.
South Thurston Fire & EMS responds to these emergencies with highly skilled cross trained Firefighters/EMTs equipped with the latest technology in emergency medical equipment. Aid units and fire engines both carry medical supplies in order to be prepared any time we are dispatched to medical call.
A number of our career and volunteer staff are trained in rope rescue. This skill requires regular training and equipment maintenance to make sure everyone, and everything, is prepared. Although the call doesn't come often, when it does, it is important that we have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to properly carry out the task.
Public Education & Fire Prevention
Public safety is our first priority. Although we spend countless hours training and practicing our
fire and EMS skills, public safety really starts with the citizens. The more we can educate and
engage the public, the better chance of a fire being prevented or the severity of an injury be
reduced. Even starting CPR before we arrive can greatly increase the chances of saving a life.
We also believe that you are never too young to start learning about fire prevention. We often have preschool classes at the fire station learning about smoke detectors, escape routes, and what to do if your in a room full of smoke.