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For more than a decade, DAWGS has donated equipment and provided vacant property accessibility training for first responders and fire departments in the areas they serve. While having DAWGS steel door and window guards on a vacant property greatly reduces the chance of a fire, due to the inability of squatters to reside in the residence, there are cases when a fire or other emergency occurs at a DAWGS-secured property.

There are some specific techniques a first responder must know to effectively bypass and remove DAWGS equipment from a secured property. As a result of very thorough training between DAWGS and first responders, these techniques are regularly used in the field.

The City of Calumet City, has long worked with the training organization Fire Nuggets to teach Force Entry. Recognizing the need for DAWGS-specific Force Entry training, The City of Calumet City reached out to the DAWGS team to secure a subject matter expert for training. The hands-on training would teach the students the skills needed to bypass DAWGS steel door and window guards in the event of an emergency.

DAWGS VP or Engineering, Jim Glass, and the DAWGS team enthusiastically supported the training. DAWGS representatives provided on-site training as well as donated DAWGS equipment to the Calumet City Fire Department for demonstration and the creation of training materials. After receiving the DAWGS training on December 11th and 12th 2021, the firefighters and first responders have applied the techniques learned to success.

When asked which regions and cities participated in the recent DAWGS training, Training Director for the Calumet City Fire Department, Sammy Vega explained “Firefighters from all over the state of Illinois participated, with a large number of students from the bordering suburbs of Chicago. We had firefighters from as far as Iowa make the trip for the class. The opportunity for firefighters to work with various real world props, like DAWGS devices and others was so appealing, the class was at capacity both days. In total, including firefighters participating on shift from Calumet City both days, about 80 students were able to participate in the MIDWEST FORCE ENTRY course through Fire Nuggets.”

In reply to plans about future DAWGS training, Vega responded “DAWGS was kind enough to donate their equipment, and our hope is to continue using the Calumet City site as a place to provide this type of training. Based on what DAWGS shared, we can create props that allow students to use the techniques and tools to be successful in the field.”

Finally, when asked about the benefit of DAWGS Force Entry training, Vega commented “There is no such thing as luck, only probability is quantifiable. We hear often, we were lucky on that call. I disagree, that kind of success isn’t luck, it is success through unfavorable odds. If you do not train often, you decrease the probability of success and eventually those odds will be against you.”

The DAWGS team has a longstanding belief and tradition of giving back to the communities they serve. Supporting first responders with training and equipment is an example of this commitment.

About the Calumet City Fire Department

The department currently has 50 career fire personnel including the Fire Chief, Deputy Fire Chief, six Captains, three Lieutenants, nine Engineers and 30 Firefighters. Most members are also paramedics operating under the guidance of the Ingalls Hospital Emergency Medical Services System. Many members also participate in specialty rescue teams including, Hazardous Materials, Technical Rescue, and Dive Teams.

The Department is a member of MABAS (Mutual Aid Box Alarm System) Division 24 and the Third Fire District, which consists of 22 municipalities. These departments along with others provide mutual aid to Calumet City in the event of large incidents. The Village of South Holland, Village of Dolton or Village of Lansing Fire Departments provide automatic-aid on structure fires. The department runs approximately 8000 calls per year out of two stations.