Firefighters Train for Intense Search & Rescue Missions

Firefighters Train for Intense Search & Rescue Missions

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - All day Saturday, Evansville and McCutchanville firefighters practiced advanced search and rescue training, using thermal imaging cameras, thick smoke, and physical maneuvers.

Instructors with Smoke Divers Indiana came down from Indianapolis to put on the advanced training for select firefighters.

Instructors from Smoke Divers Indiana out of Indianapolis put on the advanced training on Saturday for select Tri-State firefighters.
Instructors from Smoke Divers Indiana out of Indianapolis put on the advanced training on Saturday for select Tri-State firefighters.

“So far so good. It’s been a busy morning, we’ve done quite a bit of work so far," Wayne Township Battalion Chief Pedro Caceres, said.

“Life safety is our number one priority when we go to a fire. So we want to go in and as quickly as possible search for those victims and make sure everybody made it out. If we do find a victim then obviously some of the skills we’re practicing today help us to move those victims more efficiently," Evansville Fire Department District Chief Mike Ewald said.

Chief Caceres said this kind of training helps build muscle memory.

“Those are things that some of them might know. We find that some of these skills are not always taught at this level and even if they have seen it before, when they train they might not be pushed to be perfect every time. Instead we say okay do it again. Do this, until they get it correct,” Caceres said.

A firefighter practices rescuing and efficiently carrying a pretend victim out of a burning room.
A firefighter practices rescuing and efficiently carrying a pretend victim out of a burning room.

Chief Ewald explained that practicing these skills, like using thermal imaging cameras in thick smoke, is what saves lives.

“If we see a heat signature on the bed that either means the victim is there or they have been there and maybe we need to search. Maybe they’ve left the bed and tried to crawl to a window or something," Ewald said.

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