From the publisher: Fire & Rescue department keeps Gilbert safe

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Gilbert is regularly identified as one of the safest communities in the nation. One department that plays an important role in keeping our town safe is Gilbert Fire & Rescue. Through the Gilbert Leadership program, I recently had the opportunity to spend the day shadowing a Gilbert Fire & Rescue crew.

You have likely seen a crew of firefighters shopping for groceries. A common misconception is that taxpayer dollars pay for that food, but in reality, it is paid for using the crew’s personal funds.

You may also may not realize that medical calls far surpass the number of fire-related calls the department receives. Since the station I was visiting is also the hazmat station for Gilbert, they will be called out for hazardous materials issues, such as gas and chemical leaks.

Scheduling depends on the department. In Gilbert, crews work 24-hour shifts. The crews are composed of a captain, an engineer and two firefighters who are trained EMTs or paramedics.

When out on calls, each crew member has a specific job, so when I was out on calls with them, they seamlessly went about their tasks with very little talk. I also learned vehicle numbers are based on the city (Gilbert is 25) and station number from which the truck comes.

Many thanks to Robbie, Rich, Jonathan and Don for showing me the ropes. The next time you see a first responder, thank them for keeping us safe.

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