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Firefighters in Ascension Parish are taking on tremendous heat and unfavorable conditions to learn better ways to keep you safe.
It is a unique training experience that is being offered by the public school system.
The firefighters are suited up and ready to answer any call. One group of first responders went into a smoke-filled house looking for flames and possible victims. They could barely see what was in front of them. They relied on the skills they learned in training.
The house they entered was a training ground where their chiefs created the scenario and they were put to the test.
Ascension Parish Fire District 3 Chief Mark Stewart added to their experience.
"We've been showing a lot of the guys that this is how the basics instructional book says to do this, but look we are going to show you a couple more ways that this same step can be done," Stewart said.
The firefighters were given an assortment of tools to use as they searched for victims. Sometimes, Stewart said, that involves patience too and knowing which techniques would be best to keep themselves and other responders safe.
The firefighters were practicing using two abandoned houses on La. Highway 73 in Prairieville. It is the future site of one of three new primary schools. But before they are demolished, Ascension Parish School System spokeswoman, Jackie Tisdell, said school leaders wanted to offer firefighters the chance to continue their education.
"They work very closely with our schools and help keep our schools safe, and so when we have opportunity, we try to reach out and make sure they can utilize it because their training here benefits our entire parish," Tisdell said.
Chief Stewart said the firefighters would be training regardless, but this opportunity gives them a better taste of what can be a dangerous reality.
"This is a career where you learn until the day you die," Stewart said.
The school system hopes to break ground on some of its new primary schools by the end of this year.