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Editorial: Get a taste of what it takes to be a firefighter

Plenty of young children have dreamed of becoming a firefighter when they grow up, but few actually follow through on that ambition. They discover other interests, and the allure of the big red fire engine starts to fade.

Now, though, the Rosemount Fire Department is offering a chance to live out some of those childhood dreams, and we hope people take them up on it.

The fire department's Oct. 20 event, at which residents can run an example of the obstacle course all potential firefighters must run to qualify for the department, isn't all about wish fulfillment, of course. Giving residents a taste of the physical demands involved in being a firefighter serves a few purposes. It gives them a better appreciation for the work firefighters do on a regular basis. It introduces the department to the community. And it gives anyone who might want to volunteer for the department an idea what they have in store for them.

That last one is important. The Rosemount department, and no doubt other volunteer departments like it, has had its share of would-be firefighters fall short on the obstacle course and walk away frustrated, never to give it another try. This month's event is a practice run, with firefighters there to provide the assistance and instruction they are not allowed to give when recruits run the course for real. They can coach on technique and help people prepare themselves.

That could be good for the department.

And, of course, it sounds like a lot of fun. We look forward to it.