Posted Monday, November 18, 2013--10:00 p.m.
Describing the feeling of entering a burning building, DeForest Area Fire Department Captain Eric Fairfield says, "There's just so many emotions running through your head. It's just an amazing feeling. It's an amazing adrenaline rush. People are typically running away from burning buildings...we're the ones running into the fires."
Firefighter trainees get their first chance to do just that--run into burning buildings-- in something called "live burn training"--where an abandoned building or home is intentionally set on fire. Captain Fairfield calls it, "The best possible hands-on training you can get."
On a recent Saturday morning, the DeForest Area Fire Department, with assistance from the Sun Prairie Fire Department, used a farm house scheduled for demolition in the Town of Windsor for live burn training.
In this report, NBC15 Anchor/Reporter John Stofflet was invited to participate in the training to see what it's like for firefighters to enter a burning room and put out a fire.
Once recruits finished their drill, wearing full firefighting gear, Stofflet was allowed to enter a dark, smoky bedroom with a team of firefighters and extinguish flames spreading from the floor up to the ceiling.
Exiting the building, and full of adrenaline, Stofflet said,
"My heart is pounding through my chest. That is an adrenaline rush! It was so dark.and then it got hot...I don't know how you guys (firefighters) do it."
At the end of the drill, recruits have a new respect for what fire can do from the inside...and from the outside, when the home's allowed to burn to the ground. It's a dramatic display of the power of the fiery foe they'll face in the heat of battle.
Many area fire departments like DeForest's rely on volunteers to help serve their communities. If you'd like more information on joining the department, please go to the link below, or check your local fire department's website.
DeForest Area Fire Department Volunteer recruiting and membership information.