Huntsville Fire Department Class Trains Before Graduation

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - The Huntsville Fire & Rescue Training Division conducted a live fire training exercise at a home on Mastin Lake Road Thursday.

Shortly after 10 a.m., firefighters set fire to the structure

The training session is one of last steps before the rookie class of 2012 can graduate. The home was fortified with extra sheet rock to control the burn and to allow 8 teams of four to enter the smoldering house in turn. Recruits donned full turn-out gear and used air supply just like in a real life house fire scenario.

"They've seen fire before at controlled burn out in the county," said training Captain Bud Jones, " but this is going to give them a picture of what it really feels like to have all the heat from a house fire and to see the way the fire reacts."

Captain Jones says the camaraderie of fire professional can lead to pranks and joking around, but says when it comes to their profession, the recruits know this is no child's play.

"This is like a no play zone here," said Jones. "We have fun and there's a lot of jokester in this rookie school but I think all of them know when its time to work it's time to work, play time's over."

It's also Captain Jones' first crack at training a rookie class. He says he feels honored to have been part of helping the trainees gain knowledge about lifesaving strategies since early this spring.

"They're going to hopefully carry some of that with them for the next 25 plus years. That's kind of a cool feeling to know that long after I'm gone from here I will still have played a role in their lives and protecting the citizens of this city," said Jones proudly.