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Archive for Thursday, September 18, 2008

Local firefighters receive unique training opportunity

Local firefighters are getting a unique training opportunity this week. Firefighters not only learn how to save others - but each other as well.

September 18, 2008

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Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical blindly overcame challenges Thursday and worked together to rescue a fellow firefighter from a building.

In what firefighters called a worse-case scenario, their faces were completely covered and they had to figure out how to get a firefighter out of the basement of the building and up a flight of stairs.

It was no easy task; the work's very physical, the firefighters said.

"Most of the guys are big, they're wearing a lot of heavy equipment, it's extremely hot, you can't see, everyone's excited," said Capt. Stan Ray. "We just do this, so that hopefully if we have that situation come up, we'll fall back on these skills that we've practiced."

"It's a hazardous situation, it's something that's really scary," said Capt. Mark Hummel, a training participant. "Most people want to run out and we want to run in, and so we need to know if we get into trouble, exactly what to do."

It took the firefighters about 20 minutes to get the firefighter to the top of the stairs. Then, they avoided even more obstacles to get him to "safety." It proved to be a tiring, but successful, workout, firefighters said.

The firefighters do the training every year. But this year they got to practice with stairs, since Harris Construction let them use an old warehouse, at 813 E. 8th.

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