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Joplin Fire Dept. candidates practice for residential high rise - KOAM TV 7

Joplin Fire Dept. candidates practice for residential high rise emergency

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Some future Joplin firefighters train for a situation that's often times more hazardous than others.  Emergency officials say fires in high rise residential buildings are in a category all to themselves.  More space with more people could make putting out a blaze more challenging.  But the Joplin Fire Department is trying to instill certain techniques, from the beginning of a firefighter's career.

Smoke rises, and so does this training.

"It doesn't happen often, obviously," says trainer Andy Nimmo with the Joplin Fire Department.  "But it's a lot of work to be able to handle a high rise operation correctly."

Tyler Lorenz is a Joplin firefighter candidate.  

"The fire floor would be the fourth floor.  That's our scenario right now.  We're on the third floor.  Over the past three weeks, we've definitely learned a lot," says Lorenz.

It's Lorenz's first time training for a residential high rise emergency.

"Usually, in a lot of departments, they use an inch and three quarter attack line for high rise buildings, which are four stories or more," says Lorenz.

But Joplin firefighters use a wider hose.

"With the hoses we were using prior to what we have now, it wouldn't supply us with enough pressure.  So we couldn't provide enough volume of water for the fire," explains Battalion Chief Al Resendes.

It's more efficient, but a heavier load to carry.

"They're carrying well over 100 pounds of equipment up several flights of stairs, coupled with the fact that it's usually a multiple occupancy building," says Nimmo.

So Lorenz and the fire department's other candidate also practice social interaction.

"There's a lot of occupants in buildings like these, so they're going to want to escape.  They're going to be coming down the stairwells.  We have to be cognizant we're coming up, they're going down," says Lorenz.

Lorenz and his partner sweat out one exercise, then stretch out another.

"As a new guy, when I started, I trained for this type of firefighting maybe once every five years.  Now we're doing it biannually," says Resendes.

These two candidates know practice won't always mean perfect, but it'll get the job done to save lives.

The two Joplin firefighter candidates are set to receive their badges this Friday.

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