Firefighters get chance for unique training

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Friday was a busy day of training for the Rapid City Fire Department.

Rapid City Fire Department crews train.

They started out Friday morning with Fire Apparatus Driver Operator training, or FADO.
The truck was parked at the old polo fields by the Central States Fairgrounds.
It gave the crews a chance to get real time experience working with the trucks and getting water heading to the fire.

Training instructor Matt Peters says, "Today we're doing practicing on changeovers. What that means, we've got guys here on Engine 1 pulling up to a scene. They're pulling out an attack line you saw there, that 2 1/2 and they're immediately flowing water to a fire. This engine behind me carries just shy of 750 gallons. So that water's not going to last them too long. That's when we're hooking up to a hydrant."

Crews also got some work in at the old Video Blue building on East North Street.
The building is slated for demolition so the new owners, AutoMax, let fire crews practice cutting holes in the roof before it's torn down.
The fire department says that kind of training is invaluable.

Lt. Jim Bussell says, "It's huge. If you go back to October, we had the opportunity to practice in a real building on West Street, practice some techniques that we don't have the opportunity to practice very often. And then two weeks later, we put those into practice, rescued people in an apartment fire on cherry Avenue. So any time that we have the ability to do handws on training on an actual building like this, it's very very big for us."

Bussell says you're good at what you do a lot of and says this gives them a great chance to polish their skills.