BOONE COUNTY, Indiana (July 30, 2015) - 24 fire fighter recruits endure extreme heat, large flames and heavy smoke as they battle through a live blaze during a training exercise in Boone County.
“It can still turn bad just as easy and the chances of us getting hurt out here are just as high as they are if we were working on shift. So we have to practice as much as we can,” says Pike Township Fire Department Division Chief Troy Clements.
The training is intense and necessary for the recruits from four local fire departments. Pike Township, Lebanon, Zionsville, and Speedway Fire Departments are all working together during training. Sharing resources and establishing team building skills that they will use to save lives.
“What is really nice about having everyone here for training is that when we do end up on a fire together we are all talking the same language. We meet the people that we are running with,” says Chief Clements.
Each team had a different job during the live burn, but the highest priority for all was life safety.
“We are doing fire attack, where we bring hoses in and put the water on the fire. We are also doing searching where we are looking for victims, also ventilating where we go up onto the roof and cut holes to let the smoke out,” says Zionsville Fire Department recruit Ben Box.
The recruits also used new gear and technology that was introduced during FDIC. One of the tools was a camera that attaches to the firefighters gear and records while they are inside of a burning structure. The squads also experimented with new air packs and a thermal imaging camera.
“It is dark, it is smoky, you cannot see and it is really hot and you are bumping into things. So, with that camera and that technology it makes life a lot easier,” says Chief Clements.
The crews say working together and sharing resources with different departments is invaluable.
“There are certain teams that just really balance well and function great. Then they will switch it up and you get new challenges. So you are always working on your communication,” says Box.