Firefighters get unique experience in summer training drill

Colorado Springs Fire Dept. in summer training / Mike Byrum FOX21
Colorado Springs Fire Department in summer training / Mike Byrum -- FOX21 News

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Whether it’s medical, Hazmat or just plain fire training, the Colorado Springs Fire Department puts in hundreds of training hours each month.

“The environment is very hot, it’s smokey, we have zero visibility. We have to use all of our senses,” said Steve Wilch, CFSD fire captain and public information officer.

It’s a test of basic firefighting tactics and techniques.

This year, CSFD holds summer drill sessions inside homes scheduled for demolitions.

“Not everyone across the city works in neighborhoods like this. So, this is a opportunity for all to experience houses that are very difficult fires to attack,” said Marvin Adams, fire lieutenant for CSFD.

“Crews have to come in, they have to develop a strategy and a plan to attack the fire and rescue anyone that’s involved or inside the structure,” Wilch said.

Although it’s just training, the physical stress level of fire fighting is high.

“Where’s it at? Can I get to it in time? Where’s it gonna be going? And then I’m thinking where are the victims at? Can I get to them in time? And then I’m trying to think, what obstacles do I have? Are there holes in the floor? How much time do I have to work because these buildings are on fire, so now there’s an internal clock,” Adams said.

It’s real world practice to prepare them for any call they may receive.

“We’re exhausted you know, we’re wearing 50 to 60 pounds on top of us. And then we’re carrying 175 to 200 pound dummies, removing hoes that weighs a couple hundred pounds and we’re trying to do it in a very timely fashion,” Adams said.

Up to 450 firefighters with CSFD will go through this training, which will last until the end of July.

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