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Northwest fire starts training earlier to beat the heat

Posted at 4:05 PM, Jun 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-22 19:07:58-04

The sweltering heat in Tucson has many people changing their plans to avoid spending too much time outside. This includes firefighters who are in training. 

The Northwest Fire District began their recruit training at 8 a.m Wednesday morning.  

Their usual training time is late in the afternoon. 

 

 

"The idea is to get them started a little earlier today to get their drill in," says Brian Keeley, Public information Officer with NW fire. "It's still warm out here today but it's not necessarily to have them out here at 3 in the afternoon where there are some risks to their personal health."

Keeley says, "heat like this is unusual." Adding, "We're used to it being hot in June but this is a bit excessive." 

While firefighters fight fires hotter than these temperatures the idea is to understand what it feels like especially as they carry 75 pounds of equipment.

"Understanding what it feels like having this gear on, working in this environment and recognizing when you need that break when it's becoming dangerous for you," Keeley said. 

Wednesday's recruit training was all about saving yourself when caught in rapidly changing circumstances. 

One training method was a maze which is considered a worst case scenario. The room is completely dark and the firefighter is running out of oxygen fast. 

The room also has loud music to help the recruits stay focused in every situation. 

Another method, bailing out a window head first or using a hose line to get to safety.