New Biloxi Firefighters Learn To Save Lives - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

02/19/03

New Biloxi Firefighters Learn To Save Lives

If your home or office caught on fire, your life might depend on how well firefighters are trained. The Biloxi Fire Department put five of its newest recruits through rigorous training to handle the dangers inside a burning building.so they could get you out alive. The new Biloxi fire recruits must be ready for anything.

On Wednesday they had to be ready to enter the old Edgewater Bay Golf Course clubhouse filled with smoke.

"We're gonna play with the building," said Capt. John Jennings. "We're gonna smoke them up. We're gonna do different scenarios of ventilation as well as search and rescue."

Seeing inside a smoke filled room isn't easy, as our photographer Travis Alford found out. He suited up with the firefighters and took his camera inside the smoke filled building.

Sometimes just a few seconds will leave a firefighter "blind" to the dangers all around, and the job they have to do

Mike Sigman, a firefighter recruit said, "It's like being in a room with no windows and no lights but you learn to use your other senses like your sense of feel and hearing."

Every move the recruits made was carefully monitored.

"We'd much rather them do it here where we can walk them through the steps and be extra careful and stuff instead of the first time they have to do it will be on an actual fire scene where there's crews and possibly people inside counting on them," said Capt. Jennings.

Cutting holes in roofs for ventilation and rescuing a fellow firefighter are just some of the scenarios recruits learned how to handle. Biloxi fire officials say this training does not just benefit the recruits. Veteran firefighters use the exercise as a refresher course in fire fighting techniques they don't often use.

by Danielle Thomas

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