Firefighters learned some serious survival skills at the fire station in downtown Fresno this afternoon where jumping out of buildings and hanging from third story windows were on the agenda at a training class.
"Sometimes you find yourself in a spot where you can't escape quickly and you could get trapped in a situation like that," said Stockton Fire Captain Brian Jones, one of the instructors on site.
The daring drills being performed are essential to making it out alive. For example, head first down a ladder and flipping midway down is one way to get out of a burning building a real hurry.
"And then getting down the ladder fast because you're going to have a series of firefighters all coming out the window after you so you gotta make room on the ladder," said Jones.
Hanging out a third story window calling out and waiting for help in the form of a ladder is another survival skill firefighters are practicing. Repelling down the side of a building has to be another option. "Whether the ladder fell down or became enveloped in flames this gives them some techniques for using the rope they carry to get off the roof without the assistance of other firefighters," said Jones.
Firefighters from departments throughout the valley will be here throughout the week learning these techniques. It's all in an effort to cut down on tragedies that too often strike the firefighting family. At least 100 firefighters die in the line of duty every year.
"Hopefully we can use this training to prevent firefighters from dying and hopefully lower that number," said Jones.
Other days of training this week will focus on entering the building to save firefighters. Chief officers who manage the situation from the ground will also have a training day.
The classes are being conducted by the Office of the State Fire Marshal.