Editorial…Firefighters followed a remarkable game planRight in the midst of one of the hottest Julys on record – and with an extreme heat warning in effect that blanketed the area on Monday – Cloquet area firefighters descended into an inferno.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
Right in the midst of one of the hottest Julys on record – and with an extreme heat warning in effect that blanketed the area on Monday – Cloquet area firefighters descended into an inferno.
A fire in a household on Agate Street in Cloquet during the high afternoon heat presented a somewhat unusual challenge for firefighters who are more used to battling blazes in sub-zero temperatures than scorching heat.
And yet, watching the fire suppression actions of the firefighters from Cloquet, Esko, Carlton and Wrenshall was a little like watching a Lumberjack hockey game. “Players” cycled on and off the “bench” in a finely orchestrated operation, with some taking their shifts in the smoke and flames in all areas of the house and garage – parts of which reached the 1,000-degree mark – and then, almost imperceptibly, the signal was given and they came back out of “the game” for rest and resuscitation.
There was none of the controlled chaos that you might expect with four different departments working together, particularly in the midst of such grueling heat and with the wind swirling smoke throughout the area, making visibility an ever-changing force against them. Instead, the actions of the firefighters were workmanlike, professional and well-coordinated.
Even the special safety rehabilitation unit that provided cooling chairs, oxygen and staff to monitor vital signs was set up almost instantly as chairs and bags of ice arrived shortly after the fire began to make certain that exhausted personnel were rested and stabilized before going back in the fire.
All of us in Carlton County should be extremely grateful for the professionalism and expertise of our fire departments. We are in good hands – during all seasons of the year.