Fire department practices training scenarios

Published: May. 31, 2023 at 5:51 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The Jonesboro Fire Department and Arkansas Task Force partnered up for some specialty training Wednesday.

Firefighters gathered inside and out of the old Simmons Bank on Caraway Road, working through different training scenarios.

The main training activity was a simulation of someone falling in between the walls of a building.

The firefighters moved along the different floors, searching inside the walls with cameras to find the test dummy that dropped between the walls.

The Jonesboro Fire Department and Arkansas Task Force spent the day training in the Simmons Bank.
The Jonesboro Fire Department and Arkansas Task Force spent the day training in the Simmons Bank.(KAIT)

Jonesboro Fire Chief Marty Hamrick said it’s important for their department to work with the Arkansas Task Force for future times of need.

"Working with them, we get a better relationship, and then when we have something major, when those guys come up, we can mesh right in with them and go to work," Hamrick said.

The building was built over fifty years ago, and Kent Bridger with Simmons Bank said the repair work and maintenance weren’t cost-effective anymore.

Bridger said he wanted to give the building one last use before demolition.

“We actually decided we needed to have a new building and do that construction, and that’s when we contacted the fire department and just told them what we were doing and gave them a training opportunity,” Bridger explained.

Chief Hamrick said they appreciate these opportunities to train outside of their usual training location.

“That’s the good thing about this place. We get to experience a lot of things maybe we wouldn’t see normally," Hamrick added.

Bridger said the new Simmons Bank building will have a slightly different look from the old one.

“The old building is going to be on the exact same footprint, but it’s a two-story facility,” Bridger states. ”New, modern, lots of glass, color, things like that.”

Simmons Bank hopes to have the Caraway Road location rebuilt and open by late next year.