Firefighters with the Matlacha Pine Island Fire Department participated in training Tuesday, Aug. 7, which utilized a ladder truck from the Cape Coral Fire Department. The purpose of the exercise was to familiarize the firefighters with the equipment associated with the apparatus.
Cape Coral Fire Department Lt. William Rees said they like to do training for medical aid, so the Matlacha Pine Island Fire Department knows what its ladder trucks have in terms of equipment and what to expect if assistance is needed.
Capt. Tim Larrimore with the Matlacha Pine Island Fire Department said it is important for the firefighters to know the equipment associated with the ladder truck, along with how it operates.
Ben Mickuleit, above and at right, a firefighter with the Matlacha Pine Island Fire Department, participated in training that took place Aug. 7 with the Cape Coral Fire Department to get accustomed to the 75-foot ladder truck.
The training stemmed from the Toucan Restaurant fire, which occurred at the beginning of May, so the firefighters would know what to do and not to do during a similar call.
The training used a ladder truck from the Cape Coral Fire Department's Station 6, which is located off of Chiquita Boulevard. The truck has a 75-foot ladder, 480-gallon water tank, 20 gallons of onboard foam and a 2,000 gallon-per-minute pump.
Rees said they also have a sister truck at Station 7, which is closer to the island since it is located on Burnt Store Road, that the Matlacha Pine Island Fire Department can call upon if needed.
Since there is no ladder truck on Pine Island, he said the training is important when they are in need of the truck for a call.
Firefighter Ben Mickuleit was among the crew that had the opportunity to practice climbing the ladder truck to the fire tower at Station 1.
"It is a great learning experience," he said. "It is all about training to help the community."
Mickuleit joined the fire department in September 2004. He said while in the fire academy he did training on a ladder truck of that size.