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Airport Firefighters Get Realistic Practice

Updated: 05/05/2014 10:53 PM
Created: 05/05/2014 8:20 PM KAALtv.com
By: Jenna Lohse

(ABC 6 News) -- It's been exactly 40 years since the first fire call at the Rochester International Airport. That call prompted the airport to adopt its own fire crew with required yearly training. We were there for a mock training that seemed to mimic reality.

Sirens, fire and smoke, all things a group of six fire fighters stationed at the Rochester International Airport hope to never encounter in real life.

"We're doing some interior and exterior firefighting,” said Troy Reed, Captain of the Rochester International Airport Fire Department.

It’s all part of a yearly training required by the Federal Aviation Administration. Monday’s equipment isn't always part of the training scenario. The trainer was brought down from the Duluth area. It mimics an airplane and has propane platforms to create fire.

The equipment also gave firefighters a chance to see what they may encounter on the inside. When a plane crashes, a lot of times they have to fight blindly through wires to get to the victims.

"That is something new for us,” said Reed. "If you think about a car accident, a lot of times we're talking about four victims. We could be dealing with 150 victims all at the same time, so it's an emotional charge for us,” he said.

Which makes training for the worst incidents even more important. "Not only are we trained, but hopefully with the city of Rochester, with the training we do together, we'll get those people out as quickly as possible,” said Reed.

The airport firefighters also train year around with the Rochester Fire Department, but they say mock house fires aren't quite the same as the training they got to experience today.