CHESTERMERE – It was a typical beautiful day in June in Chestermere and 11 year old Levi Schmitz was outside playing with the family dog when suddenly the dog attacked and bit Levi just above the eye. With the blood pouring from his head the young lad screamed loudly and alerted the family of a crisis situation unfolding. The family rushed in and while the dog was being held at bay, someone made a call to 911 stating the boy had been bit by the family dog.
When someone phones the 911 Dispatch and reports a dog bite, the Emergency Services such as Fire Ambulance and Police are all dispatched to the scene. First to arrive at the house were the Chestermere Firefighters. The firefighters were Captain Craig Passmore, Lisa Bischke, John Morris and Mark Romaniuk. There was a lot of commotion but Bischke was able to calm young Levi and administer some first aid until the paramedics arrived.
The father Randy Schmitz, a Calgary Firefighter himself, saw what it was like for him and his family to be on the receiving end of help from the Chestermere firefighters and others. “It’s very different to be on the other side, receiving help as opposed to giving it”. Schmitz is so very grateful for the help and care from everyone involved that he felt the need to donate his time and also outfit each firefighter in Chestermere with what is known as a Schmitz Mittz.
The Schmitz Mittz is a very special glove used by firefighters and others in the oil and gas industry. The “extrication glove” as it is known, was created by Schmitz and is manufactured in Calgary. The gloves are exceptional in that they cannot be cut with a knife, withstand direct heat from a blow torch, can withstand a blow from a hammer and are also waterproof.” Being waterproof, whether they are being used in the oil and gas industry to block out hazardous chemicals or as in firefighting to provide a blood barrier at an accident scene, is so important” says Schmitz. Firefighters attending the scene of a car accident for example often have to put their hands into places where they can’t see the hazards that may be there; so wearing these gloves will protect them extremely well.
The gift of extrication gloves is only a small part of the appreciation shown by Schmitz as he is volunteering his time this week to give some extra special training to the Chestermere firefighters using specialized equipment and techniques in vehicle rescue operations. Among several other accomplishments Schmitz is a Firefighter/Extrication instructor with Calgary Fire Department.
You can check out a video of these amazing gloves at the website www.schmitzmittz.com