Anyone traveling down US 70 toward Clayton on Sept. 14 likely saw flashing lights, smoke, flames and firefighters attacking a fire. As soon as the fire went out, it would reappear even bigger than before. It was all part of a live fire exercise that Garner Fire-Rescue held to hone their skills.
“We can train in the classroom and on the training ground on every aspect of firefighting. There is no better training than facing real flames and heat in a real house,” said Deputy Fire Chief Tim Herman. “It gives us a real life scenario that strengthens our ability to perform our tasks in true emergencies.”
Firefighters took turns battling the fire while seasoned instructors showed them modern techniques and tactics. “Today’s firefighters do not respond to as many actual fires that we did 15 years ago. Our call volume has quadrupled due to the additional responsibilities tasked to the fire service. However, thankfully, structure fires numbers have decreased,” said fire Chief Matt Poole.
“That is a positive,” he continued, “but the downside of that is we lose a little bit of experience that comes only from fighting fires. This helps increase that experience level.”
Firefighters from Clayton also participated in the live burn and Wake County EMS stood by in case anyone was injured. Garner Fire monitored the location throughout the weekend to make sure all the hot spots were extinguished.