Marshall Fire Chief Quentin Brunsvold recently hosted the MnFIRE cardiac and cancer deep dive sessions for his department this spring. He shared how these trainings have had an immense impact on both his personal health and the health of his department.
Brunsvold heard the saying, “Are you the firefighter you want coming to rescue your family?” and before MnFIRE training, his answer was no. He knew he wanted and needed to do better for himself, his family, his fellow firefighters and the community he swore to protect.
“Between my full-time occupation, my other full-time occupation as the fire chief of a paid-on-call fire department, and my wife and four children under four years old, finding time and motivation was extremely difficult, in my head,” Brunsvold said. “[The MnFIRE training] really opened my eyes for what I should be doing, to be a better example to our firefighters.”
“I’m proud to say that the training gave me the motivation to want to be better, work out and eat better. I have the motivation and the knowledge to accomplish my goal.”
MnFIRE Awareness Training provides an overview of the main health risks associated with firefighting, as well as tips for prevention and screening. Two-hour deep dive sessions are catered toward those who have already completed our MnFIRE Awareness Training and want further education on cardiac, emotional wellness or cancer issues.
“We obviously train on accountability, how and when to rehabilitate firefighters and other fireground safety initiatives, but how often is the fire service prepared to train us on what we should do to take care of ourselves both mentally and physically when we aren’t wearing our turnout gear?” Brunsvold said. “In my 18-year fire service career, thanks to MnFIRE, the Awareness Training was the first time.”
Chief Brunsvold believes the most expensive piece of firefighting equipment is the firefighter. If our brothers and sisters in the fire service can’t take care of themselves, there won’t be anyone to run the other equipment our communities are paying for to keep people safe.
“This isn’t the normal training that we might use for structural firefighting, incident command or rescue situations – this is how to take care of YOU!” Brunsvold said.
Protecting your community starts with protecting yourself. So, what are you waiting for?
Sign up your department for training here. Thanks to a grant from the Fire Service Advisory Committee (FSAC), MnFIRE Awareness training and cardiac, emotional wellness and cancer deep dive sessions are being offered both online and in-person at no cost to Minnesota fire departments through June 30, 2021.
“Chiefs and training officers, take the six hours of free training available to you and give your firefighters the tools they need to succeed both in civilian life and life around the firehouse,” Brunsvold said.