SC firefighters learn new tricks to aggressively attack fires

The training is part of the annual Fire Rescue SC conference in Columbia

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) —Firefighters from all over the state come to Columbia to learn new tricks on how to attack fires in a faster and efficient way.

Some people enjoy learning lessons while sitting through a lecture, but for some first responders, tackling a situation head-on is a proven way to save more lives down the road.

“We encounter some very stressful situations, but we have to be automatic with some things like delivering water, getting victims out of buildings, flowing water when we need to, knowing what heat feels like, knowing what it’s like to be in our gear when it’s 100 degrees out, because if we’re acclimated to that, we can serve the citizens much better,” said Jonah Smith, the Owner of Hornet Fire Training.

The hands-on training is part of the state’s annual Fire Rescue SC Conference, which brings firefighters together to learn ways to handle blazes more efficiently.

“I think getting outside of our comfort zone, learning different techniques is a great way to go ahead and advance in our careers. Classes like this helps us hone on that craft,” said David China, an engineer with the Columbia Fire Department.

Firefighters say it could take up to 30 seconds to fully get the hose ready to go, saying every second is the difference between life and death.

“The less time that we have to worry about pulling line off, the more time we have to possibly save someone who is stuck in a structure,” China said.

Even with the lessons they picked up, some say the learning doesn’t stop when class ends.

“I’ve been in the fire service 15 years, and I promise you I don’t know it all, and I learn everything everyday, and it’s really refreshing to come out with like minds because we know there are more of us out there having the struggles that we deal with,” Smith said.

The Fire Rescue SC Conference continues this week with several more classes and a Stair Climbing Competition hosted by the South Carolina State Firefighters Association this Saturday. 

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