With several Sioux Falls firefighters hanging up their helmets, training a new crop is more important than ever. It's a grueling process to make it through the Cadet Academy.
A house scheduled for demolition in Sioux Falls served as Wednesday's training ground for nearly a dozen bright-eyed cadets working 53 hours a week to become firefighters.
"This is really the hands-on application where rubber meets the road and the people got to understand and know what's going on. They have to have the ability to think on their feet and think outside the box," Training Officer Jason Marzolf said.
With positions to fill in Sioux Falls Fire Rescue, educating new firefighters will be a top priority the next few years.
Cadets like Rob Flannery were busy conducting searches and simulating real-life scenarios. He says this hands-on training is the best way to learn.
"Vital, I think. I learn best by using my hands. To be able to come out and apply what we've been taught should be pretty useful," Flannery said.
While a lot of the training had a lot to do with rescuing people inside the house, some of it had to do with patient care inside a patient-care truck.
"It's challenging. I think physically and mentally, it really challenges you to think outside the box and allows you to kind of grow within who you are as a person and grow within the team. Definitely a huge aspect is teamwork. It's a big part of this and a big part of today," Flannery said.
Cadets also focused on breaching walls and roof ventilation.