San Jose FireOps Course Highlights Demands of Job, Dangers of Sequestration

Firefighters (IAFF) Local 230 invited elected officials and attendees of Netroots Nation, a conference for progressives and activists, to take part in a basic firefighting class at its training facility in San Jose, Calif. Participants climbed ladders, operated fire hoses and Jaws of Life, performed CPR and navigated through a warren of dark, tight corridors—all while wearing full firefighting gear.

The class highlighted the demands of the day-in, day-out activities of firefighters and how the dangers are amplified when a firefighting unit is short-staffed and underequipped because of sequestration and other budget shortfalls.

San Jose City Council Member Donald Rocha, who participated in the training, said

Not having backup in some cases or if something happens to one of the firefighters is really dangerous and something I think is unacceptable.