Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Nov. 13, 2000

Guggemos shares firefighting experiences with HT fourth graders

By Barb Fasching
HT Fourth Grade Teacher

The fourth grade students at Holy Trinity recently read a story about the fires that occurred in Yellowstone National Park in 1988.

Chip Guggemos, whose daughter Lena is in the class, visited the students Nov. 2 to share his experiences of leading a platoon of 40 men to fight the fires. He also shared many photographs he had of the experience.

Guggemos told the class that he and his platoon received only two days of training before setting out to help fight the fires. He explained how satellites were used to indicate wind direction and predict the direction the fire was heading.

He said that his platoon would spend all day digging trenches to create a firebreak, only to have some fires jump over the trenches. The heat from the fire could ignite a tree 50 yards away, Guggemos said.

The fourth grade students also learned about some of the equipment the firefighters used. These items included fire-retardant clothes, helmets to protect them from falling branches, a handkerchief to help keep them from breathing in the smoke, and road flares, which were used to set counter fires.

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