Firefighters train for wearing gear in water

Firefighters train for wearing gear in water
Batesville Firefighters trained for being in the water in turnout gear.
The fire chief said even if it seems unlikely, he wants his firefighters to be prepared. (Source: KAIT)
The fire chief said even if it seems unlikely, he wants his firefighters to be prepared. (Source: KAIT)
The firefighters learned what it felt like to use the breathing apparatus under water. (Source: KAIT)
The firefighters learned what it felt like to use the breathing apparatus under water. (Source: KAIT)

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - The Batesville Fire Department had a night of specialized training Tuesday.

Firefighters found out what it feels like to be in the water in their full turnout gear with breathing apparatuses.

"If one of my guys falls in I want them to be able to protect themselves and at least stabilize things until someone can help them out of the situation," Fire Chief Brent Gleghorn said.

Gleghorn said he has wanted to hold this training for quite some time to prepare the firefighters for the unlikely situation that they fall into a pool, pond, or a flooded area.

He said they often work in the dark or bad weather, which could be disorienting when falling into the water.

"Anybody can panic when they're faced with a situation that they're not expecting and that's what I want to do is try to make everybody comfortable," Gleghorn said.

Fortunately, the air bottles the department uses are buoyant.

But their turnouts can add up to 50 pounds before getting wet so the chief wanted them to understand how it would feel.

The training will also be held again for the firefighters that didn't get to participate.

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