Bettendorf teacher shares front line experience fighting western wildfires

BETTENDORF - It's a long way from Bettendorf to battling western wildfires, but Elizabeth Woolley makes the connection.

That's because the Bettendorf High teacher spent two summers fighting western wildfires.

"It did teach me a lot about working as a team," she said on Monday, November 12.  "You're never really an individual.  You all work together."

Remarkable and dreadful images capture the devastation from California wildfires. The deadly fires are destroying homes, forcing evacuations and straining firefighters.

"I just feel for the people that are out there, trying to live their lives and be safe," she continued.  "It really changes everything."

Elizabeth's time in the field taught this future teacher.  There were important lessons about life skills - trials, triumphs and sometimes tragedies.

"Things are moving so quickly, and the fires are so hot that they have to adapt very quickly," she said.

Those California fires hit close to home.  She remembers the training and dangerous situations.

In her classroom these days, she's using those skills to put out academic fires at Bettendorf High.

"It taught me a lot about making sure that you have the training and the skills before you go out into a situation," she concluded.

Situations that reach from the smouldering front lines to the front row of English class.

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