Photos and story by Sabrina Tyson / Contributing Writer
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Murfreesboro Fire Department hosted hands-on trainings, in which firefighters demonstrated how to react in live fire situations.
The exercises took place on the future grounds of the Murfreesboro Public Safety Training Facility. The multiple live fires that the firefighters were working with for the exercises were part of the 2017 Firehouse Expo National Conference, which is currently holding events at the Nashville Music City Center.
“This is the (conference’s) 41st year, and this is our second year of being a part of it,” said Ashley McDonald, the public information officer for Murfreesboro Fire Rescue.
The conference brought in fire-safety instructors from all over the country to teach students during the hands-on training situations. John Lewis, a lead instructor from New Jersey, said his class teaches students how to make decisions as if they were the first firefighters on the scene. He has had a total of 40 years of experience as a firefighter and has been an instructor for 23 years.
“It’s my passion to spread knowledge and share knowledge with firefighters,” Lewis said.
The live fire exercises took place in old apartment buildings on the grounds, which were set on fire in the controlled environment for the firefighters to experience how a fire would act in each situation. The location and intensity of the fire would determine what actions the firefighters would take.
Boris Argueta, a student of Lewis’s from Portland, New Jersey, said that he feels that live fire training is valuable to firefighters.
“(When you) see training from different points of view, everybody has different quirks and different kinds of ideas to bring into the fire service,” Argueta said.
Other classes taught firefighters how to save a downed fireman, who has gone down for an unknown reason, as well as using cutting torches, lifting devices and ladder work. They also held classes on how to control an aggressive fire and tactics for suburban situations.
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