North Shore firefighters train to use new breathing apparatus: "Practice makes perfect"

BROWN DEER -- Firefighters' equipment is their lifeline when they go running into a burning building. After more than a decade, the North Shore Fire Department is getting a much-needed upgrade.

"It allows our crews to work inside of that dangerous atmosphere for a significantly longer amount of time before we get that low air warning," said Lt. Dan Tyk with the North Shore Fire Department.

North Shore firefighters fit FOX6's Laura Langemo with new breathing apparatus

The department received a grant from FEMA to help pay for the new self-contained breathing apparatus. But before firefighters begin using them out in the field, they must learn how through training.

"The time to figure it out is not when you`re in a fire in that 'oh no' moment inside of a building. Practice makes perfect," said Lt. Tyk.

Since the new breathing apparatus is bigger, firefighters must learn how to maneuver through small openings and how to untangle themselves from dropped ceilings.

North Shore Fire Department new breathing apparatus

Training simulations are teaching firefighters how to utilize critical thinking while staying calm.

"As you get into a stressful atmosphere -- we need to be able to slow our breathing to conserve that air," said Lt. Tyk.

Not only does the new breathing apparatus carry more air, it also utilizes new technology, and the equipment allows for better communication.

North Shore Fire Department new breathing apparatus

"In the past you`ve kind of had that Darth Vader sound or that whooshing air sound. These are actually designed to filter out some of that background noise to allow us inside the building to communicate more clearly," said Lt. Tyk.

North Shore firefighters will continue practicing as the new breathing apparatus makes its debut next week.

North Shore Fire now has 75 of these breathing devices.

North Shore Fire Department new breathing apparatus

North Shore Fire Department new breathing apparatus

The North Shore Fire Department is also providing equipment for you to help save a life -- as a "Hands Only CPR" initiative has been launched in Milwaukee County. Fire departments in Milwaukee County have a new tool to train you to perform CPR, and it is something you can practice with in your own home.

Bins available for check-out contain the training equipment: a DVD, a mannequin and an AED trainer.

The bins will be at 10 of the 30 Milwaukee fire stations, as well as one at every suburban fire station, and at some libraries and community centers.

Plus, in 90 days, an app called PulsePoint will launch in Milwaukee County.

It will notify users of a heart attack patient within a quarter mile from them, and show the user where the closest AED is located.

The bins will be available for checkout starting Monday, February 22nd.

CLICK HERE to view the list of Milwaukee County hands-only CPR bin locations

For more information CLICK HERE.