Firefighters get hands-on experience for real world emergencies

RAPID CITY S.D. (KOTA TV) - On the last day of the Mid-Winter Muster, firefighters sat in classes to learn how to handle different types of dangerous situations. Once the lesson ended it was time to get hands-on.

Firefighters used a mock up home and wrecked cars to learn new skills and practice what they already know.

"Being able to have the skill set to be able to do their job efficiently in the most effective way possible is the key, but in the end, if you get the opportunity to do a save or get a person out of a car and get to go home at the end of the day, that's really the ultimate goal," says Nick Carlson, divisions chief of fire operations for RCFD.

While people may say practice makes perfect there is no way for a firefighter to be 100 percent prepared for every situation.

"No matter how old you get, no matter how many of these schools you do they're never going to be enough. Like I said, everything's different, every training's different, every fire's different. You're never going to learn enough, you're never going to go to enough schools. If you're thinking about joining the fire department always hit up every school you can. You might not get to every one, but the more you can hit up the better you'll be when the time comes," says Dustin Hicks, volunteer firefighter with Martin VFD.

Attending these lessons as often as possible can help significantly... when it comes to changing technology.

"What we used to be able to use 10 years ago that could cut cars apart they don't work as good on these new cars because of the safety features and that's what we're here to learn about. I don't know last year we were doing some practicing and we found our tools wouldn't cut through some of the like A posts and B pillar," says Dustin Aldrich, second assistant chief at Edgemont VFD.