It does really take a village - especially when it comes to emergency management.  Good relationships, too.

Even though there's a state line that separates the territorial boundaries of the Duluth and Superior Fire Departments, history shows that they have helped each other out in when the call of duty has required it. Most recently - one of Superior's larger aerial figs crossed the bridge to help Duluth fire fighters knock-back the Seaway Hotel fire last winter.

The bridge was crossed again recently, when firefighters from the two different communities came together to participate in a joint training session.

And while the training session was hosted by the Superior Fire Department at locations in their community, both crews offered tips to exchange. In particular, the Duluth Fire Department walked their Superior counterparts through a process they utilize called Vent Enter Search (VES). According to details shared in an article in the Superior Telegram [paywall], the process allows the firefighters an efficient way to both combat the structure fire and also search for people. Superior Firefighter Battalion Chief Joe Tribbey Explains:

"So we go with high probability areas that we can identify - bedrooms, things like that.  We'll actually break out the window, go into that room, find the door, shut it, isolate that area from the rest of the fire and smoke, and then search that area. So what we're doing is we're going for high probabilities where victims are and finding victims quicker."

Both departments expressed the positive way the departments came together for the training. Damon Laurion - who serves as the Assistant Chief of Training for the Duluth Fire Department - offered that "[r]elationship building is a huge part of it".

That spirit of relationship-building is so important - especially with the way that the two departments have crossed over in the line of duty in the past. Superior Fire Department Captain Mike Hoyt shares: "We've been over there....three times in the last two years for different fires". Those shared resources shows that "the barriers between the two cities are breaking down". Battalion Chief Tribbey offers:

"That stuff is happening more and more often, and we're realizing we're all in the same boat with equipment, people, staffing minimum problems.....It's time to not let the river and the two bridges separare what we can do as a team."

And while this particular training session was a joint effort between Duluth and Superior, future sessions will include members from the Cloquet Fire Department.

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