The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

How Do They Do It?

by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner

September 30, 2009

This week I was photographing the Oquawka firemen when Chief Hal Jern told me their gear weared 110 lbs. without the air pack.

Hal said a person has to be in good shape to be a fireman or they can't safely fight a fire.

They can't function properly and could even collapse during a fire. One thing led to another and I ended up trying on the firemen's gear to see if I passed the test of being in shape. After putting on the gear, I could barelyl move.

Hal asked me if I wanted to try getting in the fire truck and I really thought it was tough enough just walking.

I made it up on one step and that was as far as I could move. I smiled, and he took my picture. Gee, being a fireman is a lot more than carrying a hose which I thought was heavy enough, but I have a lot of respect for anyone who can do it in this garb. I can't imagine adding an airpack which can weigh anywhere from 10 to 30 lbs. I salute you guys for staying in shape and fighting our fires. Be safe-God bless!