Live fire training in Greenwood Monday drew some of the top firefighters from across the country.
It was part of this week’s Fire Department Instructors Conference in Indianapolis.
FDIC takes place downtown, but it also uses dozens of other locations across the area for training. One of those was a vacant house in Greenwood.
There were half a dozen fire department vehicles lining the street from cities across the region. But there were even more firefighters without their apparatus, here to learn from cities across the country.
“Live smoke, live fire, and that’s why it’s such a dangerous type of training; it’s really the highest risk type of structural firefighter training that we could do,” Instructor Bryant Krizik from the South Holland, Illinois, fire department said.
At this training, the students are actually instructors from fire departments across the country.
“We’ve got volunteers, we’ve got paid, we have anywhere from the new guy all the way up to chief out here,” Kelly Gawlik from the Hanover Park, Illinois, fire department said.
They travel to Indiana to learn the proper techniques and then take those back to their home departments to train more firefighters.
“If they can acquire a structure such as the one we got today we show them how to set multiple fires, obviously one at a time, but how to do it safely,” she said.
“It’s literally trial by fire on the job, so if you don’t get an opportunity like this, you’ll never know,” Shane Furuta from the Federal Fire Department in Hawaii said.
Some of the students have to travel for the type of training found here in the Midwest.
“This gives us the opportunity to do certain things that we couldn’t do elsewhere, like in Hawaii we don’t really get the opportunity to get houses donated to the fire department and actually train and light fires in them,” Furuta said.
Aside from the training benefits, the instructors and students say it’s one of the highlights of their year to be able to swap stories and lessons with firefighters with different backgrounds.
More live burn training will be taking place Tuesday at the vacant Greenwood house at Main St. and Graham Rd.
The FDIC conference runs through to Saturday. Make sure you meet the Fire Buyer team at their stand number 6019.

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