Fire and emergency cadets join forces

Fire and erergency cadets, kneeling: Hunter Angel, Jonas Pridgeon, Amanda Stugelmeyer, Rebecca Schelling, instructor Amy Burt; front: Brian Burt. (Photo courtesy Jim Pridgeon)

By Sarah Pridgeon

Crook County’s Emergency Operations Center team has joined forces with Sundance Volunteer Fire Department Cadets to expand the scope of both programs through more in-depth training opportunities.
“The purpose of both is to train youth in the basic skills required to be a First Responder,” explains Amy Burt, Emergency Management volunteer, Sundance Fire Fighters and lead trainer for both programs.
The training is based on FEMA’s Community Emergency Response Team guidelines and includes studying and certifying individuals in the Incident Command System, basic first aid, care of animals after a disaster, radio operation and assistance in an emergency operations center during an event. It also includes familiarity with the care and maintenance of fire engines and related equipment.
Sundance Fire Chief Blair Stugelmeyer recently started a cadet program for the fire department, making shared training opportunities a natural next step.
“It’s very exciting being part of both these programs,” says Burt. “Not only do they give the participants the opportunity to learn valuable skills and server the community, it trains our next generation of First Responders.”
Jim Pridgeon, County Emergency Manager, adds that the goal of Emergency Management is to export this program to other fire departments in the county.
“It’s hard to recruit quality volunteers,” he explains. “By conducting training in a structured environment, we are able to ensure that our future volunteers have the required skills to transition into the emergency services once they meet the age requirements.”
More information about the programs can be obtained from Fire Chief Stugelmeyer or Amy Burt at the Sundance Fire Department or Jim Pridgeon at Crook County Emergency Management.