We often think of firefighters as heroes because they are trained to save lives. But you may not realize that training sometimes includes rescuing their own. Five new recruits for Sioux Falls Fire Rescue, who are about to graduate, got a chance to perform search and rescue missions using an old abandoned house.
Cody Vosburg is taking a whack at something his dad has done for years. He's learning to be a firefighter. Vosburg is one of five new recruits who are using this old house as training ground to practice rescuing one of his own.
"If we do have to emergency extricate, we can get someone out of a bad situation, good thing to practice," Vosburg said.
Firefighters wear heavy bulky equipment so they also need to know how to negotiate through some of the smallest spaces in case they have to save their own lives.
"In any of these buildings, you can have a firefighter fall through a floor, now we're trying to rescue them out. It could be they are stuck some place and the only way to get out is to go trough the wall," Sioux Falls Fire Chief Jim Sideras said.
Not only are they learning how to escape a building, but they're also learning which tools work best.
Because every structure is different, they learn what may work in one building, may not work so well in another.
"We're hoping they never have to use this, but we're adding another tool to their toolbox to say, 'What if.' No fire is the same and you never know what's going to happen," Sideras said.
While they tear this house apart for training, these recruits are also building an inseparable bond.
"Some of our protocols are two in and two out. Never go in by yourself. Always have two guys and I got five guys in my class and we just become brothers over the past eight weeks and become best friends," Vosburg said.
The house was acquired by Community Development and donated by Wells Fargo Bank. The recruits will graduate in two weeks.