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‘You can actually get some hands on approach to fire fighting’: MN fire depts. use donated home for training

Published: Apr. 9, 2022 at 3:05 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Fire fighting crews from several different Minnesotan communities took part in a training exercise tanks to a donated farm house in Lake Park. The homeowner said he had two options when it came to the old house, either have it tore down or donate it to the Lake Park Fire Dept.

“When you hear something like this, you can actually get some hands on approach to fire fighting.” said Lake Park Fire Chief Dave Coufal.

Rick Julian bought the home back in the early 90′s, and it had been falling apart over the years. When it came time to make plans on the land, Julian wanted to remove the house to build a new one. That’s when he called up the LPFD to give them the home to use for training.

“Oh we’re very grateful for their and so we thought this was a great way to pay back the community and provide them an opportunity here to do a lot of good training.” said Julian.

The farm house served as a testing ground for these fire fighters, with each of them going through every room tackling different scenarios. For some of them, it was their first time fire fighting. Which gave them valuable training as they take the next steps with their departments. The exercises also highlighted how mutual aid between the different fire depts. is a beneficial tool, especially in the outlying communities.

“We have to train together because we’re going to work together in the rural scene,” said Fire Chief Coufal. “Somebody is having the worst day of their life you know they call us and we come there, help them out and do the best we can. Without the help of the surrounding communities, I mean, let’s face it people volunteering nowadays is going down, not up.”

Lake Park Fire was joined by Hitterdal, Hawley, Pelican Rapids and Audubon depts.

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