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Fort Wayne Firefighter Academy Graduates This Month

After 20 weeks of training, the Fort Wayne Firefighter Academy recruits will graduate this month.
After 20 weeks of training, the Fort Wayne Firefighter Academy recruits will graduate this month. To give the class experience, the Academy ran hands-on fire training exercises at condemned buildings in downtown Huntington.  WFFT cameras were there and we give you a glimpse of what it's like to enter a burning building.

Most people think they have an idea what firefighter's go through but after seeing training scenarios, there are a lot of factors the average person might not think of.

"We have serious water supply issue."

Thick smoke, complete darkness and more than 60 pounds of gear are just some of the obstacles firefighters have to battle while risking their life.

"This is a good eye opening experience to teach them to slow down, to be aware of their surroundings and understand where they are at, at all times."

Assistant Chief at the Fort Wayne Fire Department, Michael Miller says it's rare for firefighters to get to practice in these types of buildings.

"These buildings, they are death traps if you will.  Any fires going on in these buildings, they are very confusing upstairs.  The layouts are all cut up.  Even experienced firefighters to come fight fires in these buildings are very dangerous."

Huntington Fire Chief, Tim Albertson says experiences like this help build communication.

"Communication is absolutely vital because when you lose communication with a firefighter in your team, you don't know if they are out of ear shot or if they are seriously injured."

Miller says all these steps are a focus on safety.

"Life safety is our number one priority.  Buildings can burn down all day, but as long as we're saving lives, that's what we're here for."

These recruits don't have long until they'll be battling flames in real life.  They graduate on June 20th. 
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