Pretending to be a firefighter

Today and tomorrow I am participating in the Hebron (Kentucky) Fire Department’s media fire academy. It’s been tremendous fun, to say the least, and I am getting to learn a bit about how firefighters do their job – something I’ve taken a keen interest in lately (wink, wink).

I snapped this shot with my cell phone just after I put on my turnout gear in preparation for the automobile extrication exercise. In other words, I got to help break out and saw out windows in a car, then use the Jaws of Life to pop off a car door and pinch off the car’s roof. It was incredible and gave me another new appreciation for the life-saving work that firefighters do for us everyday. It’s kind of a big deal, to put it mildly.

Tomorrow we actually get to go into a live fire, climb an aerial ladder and do lots of other stuff. I’ll be sure to blog about my experiences.

Author: Joe Wessels

Joe Wessels is a freelance journalist and photographer. Wessels covers local news events for Thomson Reuters news service and features for's Cincinnati Guide site, plus is the executive director of hyperlocal news site, He wrote for The Cincinnati Post, covering Cincinnati City Hall and Hamilton County government and wrote a weekly political column, which continued weekly at Cincinnati CityBeat. Previously, he was a reporter for the Cincinnati Business Courier and writes or has written for several publications in Cincinnati and around the country including The Cincinnati Enquirer, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Cincinnati Magazine, Cincy Magazine and the Sacramento News & Review. He is a native of Colerain Township, one of Cincinnati's western suburbs, and now lives in Over-the-Rhine near downtown Cincinnati. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a journalism writing certificate from the University of Cincinnati. He also graduated from Colerain High School, is an avid photographer, news junkie and was once a roller rink disc jockey, and sometimes rides a scooter around town.

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