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Article updated: 3/7/2013 12:48 PM

Local officials to trade in suits and ties for firefighting gear

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Some local officials are about to walk in a firefighter's shoes -- albeit in a heavily controlled and highly supervised setting.

Palatine, Palatine Rural and Rolling Meadows firefighters are teaming up to put on training exercises for the managers, councilmen, aldermen and trustees who ultimately run the departments.

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On Friday, more than 10 leaders will go to the former Camelot school property in Palatine to trade in their suits and ties for proper protective gear. There they'll learn how to battle a live fire, conduct victim searches, advance a charged hose line, raise ladders and ventilate smoke from a building.

The Daily Herald will be on hand, as well, to capture some of the action.

"It's just a way to give them tools to better understand what resources we need to do our job," Palatine firefighter Chad Kurka said. "When we have to have those conversations, they'll have a better idea of what we do so they can make educated choices."

Several area departments held a similar workshop several years ago, Kurka said, but leaders at the Palatine, Palatine Rural and Rolling Meadows trio -- which regularly partner for training exercises -- felt it was time for another training day given all new people in office.

The Palatine Park District bought Camelot late last year in hopes of building a park down the line, making the destruction, or rather instruction, possible.

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