International Firefighters Day doesn’t delay Lawton firefighter training

Lawton Fire Department new hire training.
Lawton Fire Department new hire training.(KSWO)
Published: May. 4, 2023 at 6:07 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - May 4 is international firefighter day, but while the day is meant for recognizing firefighters all around the world, you won’t catch them taking a break.

The Lawton Fire Department was out at Great Plains Technology Center Thursday training a group of new hires.

Lieutenant Jason Sellers said, “We’re doing ground some ladder training. More specifically we’re training on how to correctly ladder a building, ladder a roof, to do it safely.”

According to Sellers, firefighters train their entire careers.

“Being prepared for so many different types of instances is paramount in our profession,” said Sellers.

Jesse Dodson joined the academy April 17, and has been in training for three weeks.

Dodson said, “Getting to learn a lot of new stuff. I’ve had a little bit of experience before I was hired on at Lawton, so getting to learn some new techniques has been a lot of fun.”

With that fun comes a lot of sacrifice for those that choose a career in the fire department.

“We miss holidays and birthdays. I have a son who just turned two. I was able to take off for his birthday last year, but this year I’ll probably be working,” said Dodson.

However Dodson said the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

Dodson added, “It’s a very proud field to be in and very lucky to be able to serve the community. No matter where you’re at I think everyone in the service, we share the same thoughts.”

With the long shifts, Sellers says that being in the department feels like a second home, and he’s grateful to have his peers to talk with.

“These are my brothers I consider these guys my brothers. We eat there, we sleep there, we train there. Some of those incidents that we come back from are pretty difficult to deal with and if you’re dealing with those by yourself it can be hard, but that’s why you have to lean on each other,” said Sellers.

Being apart of the latest family addition, Dodson said he wants to make them proud.

“The guys that came before us set a good standard, and hopefully we can live up to it, and people can continue to count on us,” said Dodson.

If you see or know someone who is a firefighter, be sure to thank them for all they do.