South Dakota State Fire School

Many parts of the country are having their fire schools during this time of the year. Today I stopped by the South Dakota State Fire School at *Western Dakota Tech in Rapid City and took a look at the exhibits and vendors, which is always one of my favorite functions of schools and fire conferences.

I have used single-use Drager diffusion tubes to monitor levels of carbon monoxide on smokey sections of wildland fires, but now Drager makes a line of electronic gas monitors. This one, the Pac 3000, monitors carbon monoxide, costs about $199, does not have to be calibrated, and the battery lasts for 6,000 hours.
Dakota Fire Systems, a company owned by firefighters, designs and builds truck-mounted and portable firefighting gel systems. The one above can be used in a remote location, such as for wilderness cabin protection or near the end of a hose lay. It is powered by a Honda 4-cycle gasoline engine.
Matt Lucht, Production Manager of Dakota Fire Systems, holds the nozzle they designed for gel systems. The gel comes through the smaller hose and an adjustable eductor introduces it into the water stream, which comes from the larger hose.
Need a flashlight?
You could buy baby wipes, or, pay much more and be the envy of your peers with Wildland Wash baby wipes.
Tired of lifting that ladder up to the top of the truck?
Big drafting hoses can be a pain to hook up and use, but if it is pre-connected, life is good!
On the way back from fire school I saw this billboard. Some of us in South Dakota (home of Badlands National Park) are very pleased that Fat Tire beer recently became available in our area.

*Western Dakota Tech teaches a few fire-related courses. For example, here are some they will teach in the fall of 2009:

The nearby South Dakota School of Mines and Technology has talked about establishing a 4-year degree in wildland fire, but it has not happened yet.

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