Practicing for the real world – Guntersville Fire & Rescue reviews techniques in hands-on training

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GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Guntersville Fire and Rescue is using real world training to work toward being more efficient and safe.

Chief Jeffrey Tongate stands in front of what looks like an old semi trailer, now converted into a maze of blackened rooms. Inside the cramped space is a mock-up of a two-story apartment – complete with a stove, a table, den, and bedroom.

Firefighters will be running through real world situations using that training tool and one other. The training is invaluable for them, because Guntersville Fire doesn’t have a training facility. “We’ll be doing some live fire training, to get some experience and work on our techniques,” Chief Tongate says.

Fighting a fire is much more than merely using water; it takes a lot of training, experience,and techniques to be safe and efficient. The training runs through all of them. “We can work on fire attacks, whether it’s a direct attack, indirect attack. It works on our communications, mayday situations,” Tongate explains, “It’s got the stairwell so we can practice taking victims either up the stairs or down the stairs. There’s a lot to this trailer than just going in there and fighting a fire.”

Of course the firefighters use all of these techniques in their every day work, but the scenarios allow for an in-depth review. “When a new technique comes up, or a new procedure or new hazards, we can go in there and we can practice and figure out how we can be more safe and more efficient,” Chief Tongate says.

The department is borrowing some of the training equipment from another agency.