The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

County fire departments train in donated house


Ryan Hermens

Firefighters and first responders from throughout Cheyenne County conducted training in a donated house on Saturday. Sidney Volunteer Fire Department Chief Keith Stone, right, said the opportunity provided an invaluable instruction opportunity.

Cheyenne County first responders were able to train in a live fire scenario last weekend.

A house along U.S. Hwy. 385, south of Gurley, was donated by Adams Industries for crews to conduct training in.

Firefighters from departments in Sidney, Potter, Gurley and Dalton, along with Region 21 Emergency Management personnel and a medic and ambulance from Emergency Response Care in Sidney, were on site for most of the day Saturday.

Keith Stone, Sidney Volunteer Fire Department chief, said teams confronted multiple fire scenarios in the structure's rooms during the morning.

The ability to train with real fire allows the crews to see how fires grow and progress, he said.

"It's invaluable," he added.

Ryan Hermens

Following the training exercises, the full house – which was 100 years old – was ignited.

Stone, who has been on the department for 45 years – 30 as chief – said these opportunities don't come around often.

During his years as a firefighter, this is the eighth or ninth house that has been donated for similar purposes, he said.

"We are really appreciative of the donation from Adams," he explained.

Ron Leal, director of Region 21 Emergency Management, said a CERT – or community emergency response team – was also on hand to monitor firefighters after they trained, checking heart rates and blood pressures.

A warm lunch was provided by a group of the wives and girlfriends of the firefighters.


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