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Boy Scouts Learn About Firefighting Up Close

Written by Scoutmaster Dave Smith

NORTH FORK – The Scouts of Boy Scout Troop 357, North Fork, spent Saturday, Aug. 17, learning about fire suppression and some of the effects of the Aspen Fire.

The Scouts began the day by touring North Fork Volunteer Fire Station 11. While there, they were able to view the water tender, engine and squad unit.

During their visit, station personnel showed them both structure and wildland firefighting clothing and equipment, and explained how various equipment is used for fire suppression and medical calls.

The Scouts were given the opportunity to experience the weight of structure turnout gear, as well as hose packs and wildland firefighting web gear.

Boy Scouts Troop 357 at helibase - photo by Dave SmithAfter leaving the fire station, the troop drove to the US Forest Service heliport where the Scouts were given a tour of one of the firefighting helicopters being used on the Aspen Fire.

Troop members were given the opportunity to experience the close quarters of being in a helicopter, and members of the flight crew explained how they use the helicopter and equipment to suppress fires.

During the visit, the Scouts learned that one of the flight crew conducting the demonstration was an Eagle Scout from the valley.

Scouts in the helicopter - photo by Dave SmithFollowing the tours of the fire station and helicopter, the Scouts drove the Mammoth Pool Road to Mammoth Pool Reservoir. Several stops were made to view the effects of the Aspen Fire as well as methods used to control the fire.

The Scouts had the opportunity to observe constructed dozer fireline from both across the canyon as well as adjacent to where they were standing. At Mile High curve, they were able to watch a heavy (large—Type I) helicopter conduct water drops near the fire’s edge.

During the day, the Scouts were shown a fire history map of the fire area displaying recorded past fires dating back to the early 1900s, as well as Aspen Fire day shift plans and maps, and the national daily fire situation report. The Scouts learned how these documents are used to assist in fire suppression.

The events of the day provided the Scouts with an opportunity to work on several requirements for the Fire Safety and Forestry merit badges. This event was one of the Troop’s monthly activities held throughout the year.

Boy Scout Troop 357 meets every Monday evening from 7 to 8:30 pm at the Scout Building in North Fork. Boys between the ages of 11 and not yet 18, or 10 ½ and going into the 6th grade are eligible to become a Scout. More information may be obtained by contacting Dave Smith, Scoutmaster, at 877-2186.

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