Elected Officials Step Into The Boots Of Firefighters

Today elected officials from Washington, Idaho and Montanta traded in their suits and high heels for fire boots and hoses for the annual fire ops training.

The point of today was to give officials an idea of how firefighters operate and what they have to do to fight fires.

The participants said they are one the making laws and decisions affecting firefighters so they want to see first hand what it is like.

"I always hear them say we need more firefighters and it's like that sounds great but when you are trying to balance a budget and do everything a city is supposed to do sometimes it is difficult, but there is a reality that I've learned today that the more people you have the quicker you can save a life," said Deputy Mayor of Tacoma, Victoria Woodards.

Woodards, is one of the nearly 40 officials participating in the fire ops.

Each participant is partnered with a firefighter, and goes through seven different simulated situations.  

One includes running into a burning building.  

"Even though you know it coming it still takes your breath away. Most people don't see flames of that magnitude at least I never have, " said Edmonds city council member Strom Peterson.

He said he knows firefighters have a tough job but he was surprised at how physically exhausting it was and how in sync everyone has to be to get the job done.

This is Richland Fire Chief Curt Walsh's 8th year running the program.

He said the point is for the participants to see how technical, labor intensive and time critical the job is.