TOP PHOTO: Here’s a look at La Follette’s ladder unit during Wednesday’s training along Big Creek.
LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – “This is also an opportunity for us to get some experience for our younger firefighters and bring them up to speed,” said La Follette Fire Chief Jimmy Pack. This is a week long in-service training session required by the state. See Charlie Hutson’s photo gallery HERE.
Weather conditions have been far from ideal this week, but Pack is quick to say that that doesn’t matter. “Weather has no effect on us. We have to answer the bell regardless of the weather,” added Pack.
LFD has worked fires in some extreme weather over the years; sub-freezing wind chills in a house fire near the Country Club about 30-years ago prompting the use of heaters under the fire trucks to keep water from freezing. The other extreme came close to 10-years ago when the Hollingsworth house, next to the Weir Woods entrance, caught fire in 100-degree weather.
WLAF’s Charlie Hutson photographed firefighters in action on Wednesday working with the ladder truck (aerial unit) in the parking lot beside the main fire station. One of the objectives to training with the aerial unit is for the younger firefighters to be able to run the unit on their own. The ladder spans skyward some 77-feet and pumps 1,500 gallons of water a minute through the aerial unit nozzle.
La Follette’s ladder truck is the department’s most expensive piece of equipment according to Pack. However, the chief points out that “it is the most life saving piece of equipment.”
Training resumes this morning and concludes Friday. “Friday may be the end of this session, but we train all year long,” said Pack. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/04/2021-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF WLAF’S CHARLIE HUTSON)