GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - It's always beneficial to know what to do when a fire may break out, especially if you're a fire official.
They may have looked more like astronauts with their metallic suits, but the nearly one dozen men and women are young airmen from Keesler Air Force Base who are suiting up for intense fire training drills.
"Any time you get into a live situation, you have all kinds of variables you have to exist with, and this is just a small portion to become familiar with. The fire, the smoke, the room environment," Maj. David Stanford explained.
Firefighter Shelby McGee said even though this isn't her first time training for a fire, she never knows what to expect.
"You go in, and as soon as you open the door it just goes black. All you can see is a red glow in the back corner. So, it's really mind racking," McGee said.
Because firefighters don't know what exactly lies behind the doors of a burning building, they say this training gives them an idea of how to handle real life situations, no matter the obstacle.
"This is the first time I've ever not been able to get a window open, so that was kind of frustrating, and I'm thinking, how am I going to hydraulic ventilate if I can't get the window open. I've honestly never been this shaken. I'm still jittery from doing that. Through this training, I can learn how to calm myself down, assess the situation in order to help someone," said McGee.
It's okay and quite normal to be nervous when you see flames, and that's why Stanford says training seminars like this help better prepare each firefighter.
"It's a time where you can make mistakes and you have the inspectors watching. You have the more experienced firefighters watching, and in this condition, this environment, you want to see where your errors are so you can go back and correct them," said Stanford.
The training is a part of their annual firefighter structural drills they have to perform to stay current.