Rapid City firefighters get a home to play in - KOTA Territory News

Rapid City firefighters get a home to play in

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A two-man team pulls another firefighter out of a hole in a floor collapse exercise.  (photo by Jack Siebold) A two-man team pulls another firefighter out of a hole in a floor collapse exercise. (photo by Jack Siebold)

by Jack Siebold, MyTown editor

Firefighters call it a "training paradox."  They need realistic training but they also have to ensure firefighters are not in serious danger at the same time, whether it is a fire or rescue training mission.

So when the opportunity came up to use a condemned home that was still somewhat structurally sound, Rapid City's Fire Department couldn't't pass it up. 

"It's a really good way to do things," Station Four Captain Keith Raymond said.  "You can table top this to death and talk about all the things you would do but being able to get in there and actually get hands on another firefighter, to yank them out of a hole or crawl through a building with debris all over, to actually get out and do that, is so much better than sitting around a table talking about how you will facilitate a rescue."

Firefighter Calen Maningas says many of the incidents they respond to are considered high risk–low frequency. They don't get a lot of real world experience, yet the risk to the firefighters and people they have to help is extremely high.

"We're very fortunate," Raymond said.  "Over my career here we'Ave had very, very few incidents where firefighters have gotten trapped.  We'Ave had a couple."

NeighborWorks Dakota Home Resources donated a Lemmon Avenue home so the department could train firefighters in rescuing one of their own.  "It's different than rescuing a civilian.  Because of the equipment, he's about 50 pounds heavier than an average-sized person," Raymond explained.

 The Fire Department will use the home for a couple more days, continuing to train in firefighter rescues, as well as teaching crews how to ventilate buildings, and search and rescue drills.

Once the training is done, the home will be demolished to make room for a new, low-income family home.

For a video of Thursday's training, click here.

You might also be interested in:  NeighborWorks donates house for fire training

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518 St. Joseph St.
Rapid City, SD 57701

Telephone: 605.342.2000
Fax: 605.342.7305

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