Firefighter training like it’s the ‘real thing’

Local News

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — What may look like a house fire is actually the Rapid City firefighters doing some training.

When a house is on fire, smoke fills the room from top to bottom making it almost impossible to see.

“So what we did today was simulate a structure fire that started in the basement and how we started was, we got on scene did a 360, planned out our strategy for attacking the fire, we forced the door, made entry into the basement, located the scene of the fire, we put it out and then we ventilated,” Kotzenmacher said.

The house was donated to the department by Dream Design. Just like real house fires… fire fighters didn’t know the layout of the home.

“We have strategies we typically use like for instance keeping one hand on a wall going one direction clockwise, counterclockwise and then just doing it repetitively,” Kotzenmocher said.

This training opportunity allows crews to learn new skills while improving on others.

“There’s various levels of tactics that we are in employing here. Some of them are new to some here, like our newer firefighters and some is just a refresher for our older firefighters and the officers,” Lt. Powell said.

The goal is to get firefighters comfortable doing drills, running hose lines, and breaking doors when they can barely see.

“There’s nothing better than doing hands on training with a building full of smoke,” Lt. Powell said.

The Rapid City Fire Department does not have a designated training facility. Dream Design donated seven building structures for them to use.

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