KWQC Reporter Takes Firefighter Training 101 - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

KWQC Reporter Takes Firefighter Training 101

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Being a firefighter isn't as easy as it looks.

"In the first 10 minutes, that's the hardest part of the fire, because you're pulling the hose, you're searching the building, you're on your hands and knees you're in high heat," Capt. Scott Benson of the Galesburg Fire Department says.

Galesburg area firefighters use the training center to get used to the elements.

"Fire gets up to 500 plus to 1000 degrees depending where you're at," Capt. Benson says.

Fire crews set up various obstacles inside: "We do burn in here, we can set barrels on fire, get the heat built up for the guys to make it realistic," Benson says.

Obstacles like carrying about 30 pounds of hose up four flights of stairs put firefighters to the test.

"You pick this flank of hose up, you put it on your shoulder and as soon as you hit the step, the time starts," Benson says.

Then it's up the stairs to the top window, where you have to pull up more hose.

Then back downstairs to drive this piece of wood back with a sledgehammer, around some cones, then drag hose out to about 75 feet. Until finally, the dummy.

All of the tasks must be done with about 30 pounds of gear on. The outfit alone locks about 160 degrees of heat inside, plus a 15 pound air pack.

It's a tough course, but it's only a fraction of what the real heroes have to deal with every day, all to save lives.