Racine County live fire training offers rare opportunity

In Racine County, a live exercise gave firefighters the chance to use a real house fire as a training tool on Saturday, March 19.

With proper communication being the priority, the Kansasville Fire Department collaborated with three other area fire departments and Gateway Technical College to administer the training.

"All these guys that are out here, we work together quite often," said Chandlor Schoen with the Rochester Fire Department. "It’s great to get acclimated with your team more often."

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Live fire training offers a rare opportunity for firefighters to come together and work to put out a fire like one they might see during an actual call for service.

"We have experienced firefighters on scene today and some very new firefighters," Gateway Technical College Fire Coordinator John Dahms said. "What's important is that they’re working together. Four fire departments working together and training. It comes together so much better on the real scene when you know and trust each other."

Live fire training in Racine County

The house used was donated by a homeowner for the purpose of live training, making the practice as real as it gets for the firefighters who took part.

"I can't place a higher value on anything as the most realistic training as we can get," said Dahms. "When we go to a training structure, it can't get into the walls or the attic. It can here. And those are the things we have to be hyper-vigilant on."

Live fire training in Racine County

With different types of hoses and equipment on deck, it was one of the best ways to make sure firefighters are always ready to protect their community.

"To actually go in and see it and train on it, it's nice because you can see the fire behavior, you can see it going over your head and get used to the conditions, so you know what you’re going into," Schoen said.

Property owners interested in donating a structure for live fire training can visit the Gateway Technical College website for more information. Agencies said they never turn down looking into a live fire training opportunity.

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