JONESBORO - This has been a booming year of growth for the Jonesboro Fire Department with the hiring of twenty new firefighters. Each probationary firefighter must first complete a course of training at the academy in Camden. Now that they have returned and are working as full time firefighters it's time to begin polishing their skills the JFD way.
Wednesdays' training was under live flame and smoke conditions.
Training Officer Kevin Miller says; "Now is a chance for us to refine their skills, and get em up to speed on Jonesboro Fire Department policies and how we operate and how we conduct fire attacks."
Today's training was under as realistic conditions as burning hay, mattresses and furniture could make it.
Miller: "it's real fire, it's real smoke, it really can kill you."
Jonesboro probationary fire fighter Brandon Clayton told me that training like this keeps him up on his skills. "Refreshing our skills pretty much, getting used to fighting the fires again I haven't really had a first in fire yet, and its doing me good today begin out here doing this."
I stood inside the training building as Chief Miller lit the smoke fire and got a real quick lesson on smoke and heat.
Miller:"as it increases and the heat and smoke increases the smoke level will come down see it start to drop."
I realized real fast that without an air tank, this was not a place I needed to be and outside the guys were waiting to make their first attack.
Miller says that the department emphasises; "interior fire attack, being more aggressive, get inside find the seat of the fire and being able to put it out. "
One aspect of today's training is an opportunity to use the new straight bore nozzle that is being added to the list of equipment.
Miller, "it's something new for our department and its giving our guys a chance to utilize them to practice with them and see how they'll actually perform inside a structure fire."
The nozzles did well as did the rookies.
Miller ;"They're doing very well, a lot of them haven't really had a chance to have their first in fire so this is a chance to evaluate them, see how their going help build up their confidence and see exactly where they are at in their training."