Firefighters Training for Any Situation

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -- As Jonesboro continues to grow the abilities of the Jonesboro Fire Department have to grow with it.  The firefighters are working on a new training exercise.  In the scenario they have to find a downed firefighter when they can't really see where they're going.

"In case one of us gets inside a big building and gets disoriented  then we're having this training so we can get in there pretty quickly and try to recover the firefighter that's down," said Jonesboro Fire Department Captain Lance Harper.

The room is completely dark and filled with smoke.  The only source of light for the firefighters are the flashlights they carry.  Another vital tool that is part of this training session is a rope they follow once inside.

"More than likely if you were to get disoriented from that rope you would be lost.  It's hard if you don't know where you're at and there's no wall to connect to get yourself back out," said Marty Hamrick.

For this training exercise the firefighters are working in groups of three and they're given ten minutes to come into the room and find their victim.

"We want to have a method where they can get in, but also can get out quickly," said Hamrick.

After other tragedies in South Carolina and Arizona where firefighters weren't able to get out of the building, the Jonesboro Fire Department is making sure their firefighters are ready.

"We don't know what we might be facing and this type of training is going to help us a lot in these big areas," said Harper.

"In a big box store like this there's going to be shelves and there's going to be racks of clothes so there's nothing to really connect to, so the rope gives us the best chance for survival," said Hamrick.

There are other tools that the fire department can use in this type of situation.  These cameras track body heat and can be used to help locate a victim.

This same training will continue on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week.  The training will be done at night using the entire JC Penney store instead of just part of it.