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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Good Deed by AZ Towing Co.

Here's the story in the Yuma Sun:
The Wellton Fire Department received a belated Christmas gift, and it was just the sort of item they could use: physical fitness equipment.

"We're very happy to receive the donation," said David Rodriguez, fire investigator and spokesman. "We definitely need the equipment and it came at a good time."

Donated by Pete's Body Shop & Towing, the equipment includes a weight bench set, a set of weights and a StairMaster stepmill.

Wellton Fire Department has introduced a training program aimed to combat cardiovascular disease in firefighters, Rodriguez said. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of firefighter deaths, he added. It accounted for nearly 48 percent of firefighter deaths last year, with trauma coming in second at 31 percent.

Wellton firefighters must complete a minimum number of hours of aerobic exercise and pass a biannual physical fitness test consisting of running and strength training, Rodriguez noted. Wellton firefighters receive weekly hands-on training to test their physical stamina.

Training involves performing typical firefighting tasks, rescue operations and other emergency response situations under stressful conditions while wearing personal protective equipment and self-contained breathing apparatus.

It is rigorous training requiring the ability of tolerating increased respiratory workloads, said Rodriguez. Workouts include climbing stairs with all required gear, practice carrying victims, advancing hose lines and experiencing long periods of physical exertion without the benefit of a warm-up, rest or hydration, he stressed.

The Wellton Fire Department consists of 15 volunteer staff members who, although they do not receive a salary, are paid $20 per call, Rodriguez noted. They feel it is of great importance to maintain top physical conditioning to best serve the department and the public.

Pete's Body Shop & Towing, serving Wellton since 1980, is locally owned and operated. It currently does towing for the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Yuma County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Border Patrol.

They are honored to help support the "dedicated" firefighters of Wellton, said shop spokesman Matt Jamison.

"The Wellton Fire Department is very thankful for the charitable donation they have given to the department," Rodriguez said. "The equipment will be put to great use."

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