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Inside the Alpena Township Fire Department’s training night

ALPENA TOWNSHIP, Mich. — In 2018 the Alpena Township Fire Department saw just over 2,400 calls, and in order to keep their skills sharp the township holds multiple training sessions every month.

Firefighters were taking part in critical monthly training, learning the ins and outs of their newest equipment. They were also brushing up on some of the basics Wednesday evening at the Alpena Township Northside Fire Department.

“We’re very big on the training and showing that documentation that these people are certified to operate this piece of equipment,” says township Lieutenant Tom Tolen. “We just don’t (say), ‘Hey you have a pulse you can run this truck.’ You got to know how to operate that truck and the equipment that’s on it and make use of it.”

The newest addition to the townships firefighting equipment comes via a department in Paw Paw, Michigan.

Purchasing the used air tanks from them not only saved the township money, but also represented an upgrade.

“Ours is aging and this is newer, and we were able to get a hold of that and put this in place. But before we put it into use we want to make sure we have the proper documentation to show that everybody was trained and fit tested on this equipment,” explained Tolen.

After wrapping up their air tank training the crews moved outside for tanker certification training.

Regardless of what’s on the training schedule though, Lieutenant Tolen believes it’s crucial for the men and women to work and train together.

At the end of the day this job takes dedication, and there’s no one that can question the dedication that the these hard working men and women have.

“If somebody wants to do this you have to remember: Usually family is first. Then work. Then I like to go hunting, I like to go fishing. And if you throw fire department in there, where within that does the fire department fall? There’s a huge dedication. And it shows tonight with the personnel that are here, the majority of the department, it shows the dedication that the people have to the Township of Alpena.”