OGDEN -- After a ceremony in which AAA's Ogden branch donated $5,000 to the Weber County Fire Officers Association, firefighters showed off some of their life-saving skills.
In an event for the public Wednesday near the AAA parking lot, firefighters from South Ogden demonstrated how to properly handle charcoal and propane fires and other fire-safety techniques.
Capping off the event, the firefighters showed how they extricate victims of car crashes, taking apart a car that had previously been involved in a crash.
South Ogden Fire Chief Cameron West said events like Wednesday's are important for firefighters, because interaction with the community improves their ability to operate successfully.
"It's pretty neat," he said. "We like to get out into the public as much as possible. That way, they trust us a little more. It lets us show people why we do things the way we do.
"We encounter people on the worst days of their lives, and it's reassuring if they know what we do."
After starting and putting out a few fires one might typically find in a campground or backyard fire pit, the firefighters cut open a car as though they were attempting to rescue a victim of a crash.
Using the Jaws of Life and other cutting tools, it took the firefighters about 10 minutes to take off the driver's side door and the front half of the roof.
Brian Holcomb, AAA spokesman, said the company's donation is part of an effort to connect with the community.
"AAA has a corporate philanthropy project," he said. "Each local branch is getting with first responders from the community and trying to help out any way we can. And we wanted them to show how firefighters approach rescue situations for us and the public."
The $5,000 will go toward training Weber County firefighters.
Getting firefighters the proper training, West said, can sometimes mean the difference between life and death for firefighters or victims of fires.
That the money will go toward all Weber County firefighters pleased West, who said every department benefits from other jurisdictions being well-trained.
"We rely so heavily on our surrounding jurisdictions. We know what we're getting when we work with them."