Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman was busy putting out fires on Friday... literally.
As part of an outreach program from the Howard County Professional Fire Fighters Association, elected and appointed officials were invited to the James N. Robey Public Safety Training Center on Friday to see what it's really like to be in their boots.
"We want them to know what goes into being a fire fighter and an EMS professional," said association president Richard Ruehl. "So they know what's expected of us."
Kittleman, his deputy chief of staff Jahantab Siddiqui and County Councilman Jon Weinstein were grouped together on the "Long Reach" team.
First, they acted as emergency medical technicians responding to a call at a home where an individual was unconscious. The group performed CPR and learned how to transport a body onto a stretcher.
The next station was putting out a car fire, which involved donning full fire fighting gear. They learned how to remove a hose from a fire truck so that it doesn't tangle, and then a car was set ablaze.
"What we're doing is probably a lot less than what they have to do," said Kittleman. "But it's helped me to get a better understanding of how important they are to our community."
Other stations included extracting a person from a disabled vehicle and going into a burning building.
"Maybe next time they're thinking about making some changes, or perhaps some cuts, maybe they'll think twice having gone through this experience," Ruehl said.