Rifle First Responders Give Firsthand Look at What They Do
KREX News Room
RIFLE, Colo.- On Saturday folks from around the region headed to Fire Station 1 in Rifle for their annual open house. The event gives the community an opportunity to see up close what it's like to be a first responder.
As the saying goes, "if you're doing something you love, you'll never work a day in your life." Rifle firefighters couldn't agree more.
Lt. Leif Sackett said, "There's nothing like someone coming up to you when you're in the store shopping for food on duty, and giving you a hug and telling you thank you. So to me, that's why we all do it."
Mike Morgan, fire chief of the Rifle Protection District and the Colorado River Fire Rescue, said, "A lot of them will tell us, 'You know, when I grow up I want to be a firefighter.' And we always joke with them and say well you've got to make a choice, because if you grow up you can't be a firefighter, because firefighters never grow up."
First responders showed the community what they do every day and why they do it.
Flight paramedic Robert Weisbaum said, "There was a 2-year-old boy who drowned and he was basically pronounced dead. We flew him out to Denver and he is now 100 percent back to normal. It was quite memorable."
"They realize that we are just real people and we're here because we support our community and we love what we do and we love the people that we work for and serve," said Morgan.
They disguised their efforts to educate the kids by making the lessons fun.
Morgan said, "It's really a good opportunity for the public to come interact and see what the public safety groups are working on and how we work together and what our capabilities are."
A fire safety house was at the event. It travels around the Western Slope teaching kids what to do if there's a fire in their house.
"It exposes them to what it looks life. They are our future, whether or not this is something they want to pursue," Weisbaum said.
The open demonstration gives the community a realistic picture of what it's like to be a first responder.
Bryanna TenEyck, 12, said, "I'd say thank you because they're a lot braver than I am. I mean, I wouldn't be able to do this stuff."
Fire officials say this is the fifth year of the event and that it grows each year.