OKC Fire Department Cadets Undergo House Fire Training

Wednesday, December 23rd 2015, 11:07 pm
By: News 9

News 9 got a first-hand look at what it's like to go into a burning house and fight down a fire.

When every second counts, firefighters must be ready.

It's a job unlike any other, and lives are on line.

Seconds count.

"We train all the time to save citizens, but sometimes we have to save ourselves,” Benny Fulkerson of the Oklahoma City Fire Department said. "These are skills that all firefighters have to have. You never know when we're going into these buildings what we're going to encounter. There are all kinds of dangers and things that we can’t see."

The building isn't really on fire, but a smoke machine sure gives the impression it is. This is what it looks like trying to see inside a smoky building or house.

"These recruits are going into heavily smoke charged rooms, and then they have to locate the firefighter and drag him out to safety,” he said.

They've never been inside this building before and are learning the terrain as they go just like they would in a real emergency. When the smoke is just too thick to see they use thermal imaging.

Last year, there were 91 on-duty firefighter deaths in the US, and in 2013 nearly 30,000 firefighters were injured on the job.

"This is a really good opportunity for them to come out here today and get in an actual building as opposed to just a fire station or a building they're familiar with,” Fulkerson said. “It's really good training to go into something where you have no idea where anything is."

The academy lasts 16 weeks, and the 31 recruits of this class will graduate February 5th.