I’m hoping everyone had a chance to come out to the Apricot Fiesta on Saturday and observe the Patterson Volunteer Firefighter’s Combat Challenge. If you did, you saw some of the physical demands placed on our firefighters. Although Hollywood creates some great movies and television shows where firefighters dressed in their gear are running into burning buildings, it’s not as glamorous in real life. It’s a lot more challenging. There are no Hollywood retakes or do-over’s when our men and women are called into action – it’s the real deal.
As you watched the combat challenge, you could see just how demanding wearing a full set of protective clothing, helmet, gloves, and a self-contained breathing apparatus can be. Approximately 85 pounds of gear, at a minimum, is what it takes to keep our firefighters safe. Carrying a charged fire hose, forcing a door open, raising a 24-foot ladder, and dragging a 185-pound “victim” down the street really gets the heart pumping. Although these functions were part of a timed course, they are all part of what we do – what we train for.
During Saturday and Sunday’s event, we had many of our citizens stop by the volunteer’s booth and ask for information on how they could become part of our organization. We want to thank each of you for stopping by, showing your support for the department, and, for many of you, picking up an application to join. We need individuals who are looking to help out their community. It doesn’t matter where you live on the West Side – Patterson, Westley, Newman, Crows Landing, or Diablo Grande – we need you.
Feel free to stop by the fire station in Patterson, 344 West Las Palmas Ave. for more information, or, if you know any of our firefighters in the communities mentioned above, don’t hesitate to ask them about our Volunteer Firefighter or Fire Explorer programs. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have, and even help you fill out an application.
I look forward to personally meeting anyone who is willing to take the challenge.
More to come…
As of September 1, 1988, local volunteer firefighter Jeff Fijman has been serving the city of Patterson as a trusted ally of the West Stanislaus County Fire Protection District. His base is currently at Fire Station one on 344 West Las Palmas Ave.
Fijman, a 17-year veteran of the volunteer fire department, also serves as a field engineer for Konice Miaolto for the last 25 years.
Volunteering at the fire department is a beneficial experience for Fijman simply because he likes to bring smiles to the faces of those around him.
His current aspirations are to retire early, or to be hired by the Patterson Fire Department in the near future.
In his off time, Fijman enjoys spending time with his wife and four children. He also collects baseball cards and plays as many sports as he possibly can.