By Adam K. Thiel
While I don't have much experience in wildland firefighting, the training and exposure I've had was enough to convince me that wildland firefighters, as much as structural firefighters anywhere, operate in an extremely unpredictable and often violent work environment.
As this story demonstrates, knowing how to deploy a fire shelter, even if you never think you'll have to use it, can be a lifesaver.
We all sometimes, regardless of our response disciplines or specialties, consider annual refresher training on infrequently used subjects as boring or redundant.
Clearly, for these firefighters, despite it being (maybe), "...the first time in Minnesota the devices have been used in an emergency," it was a really big deal for their training to kick in automatically.
Whether you fight wildland, structural, aircraft, or other fires...that's something to think about.