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Grants Pass firefighters training Tennessee firefighters

The crew is learning how to fight big, aggressive fires.

Posted: Sep 4, 2019 6:25 PM
Updated: Sep 4, 2019 6:40 PM

MERLIN, Ore. -- Firefighters came all the way from Knoxville, Tennessee to learn more about wildland fires. The 3-team crew got here on Monday and will be here until September 9. Right now, Rural Metro Fire is teaching them wildland suppression tactics used to fight Oregon wildfires.

One technique they are learning is how to get 400 feet of hose on the ground with as little as just two or three people working. Austin Prince, Division Chief Rural Metro Fire, said, "This technique is one they haven't used in Tennessee before. So we're demonstratin certain hose configurations, the way they're loaded into certain bags we use and how they're deployed."

The Knoxville Rural Metro Fire captain, Brad Retting, said they're working to build a natural hazards team in order to expand their knowledge when responding to things like flooding, fires and tornadoes.

Retting said, "We have a team of 21 firefighters that are becoming certified in different disciplines that would help in those events."

That's one reason they're working on learning more about wildland fires. Another reason, Tennessee's wildfires are rare.

"That may not sound like a problem, but when it does happen, we have some serious fires," Retting said. 

If their crews aren't trained with the proper techniques, they might not work as efficiently.

"In the longrun that can cause loss of property and potentially get you into dangerous situations that you may not realize because that situation doens't come up very often."

Prince said this is an opportunity for the Knoxville team to learn fire techniques used on bigger, more aggressive fires, "By bringing them here, it gets these guys ready and they go back and teach their folks."

In addition to learning, the Knoxville team is also acting as a helping hand and going on any calls Southern Oregon may need help with. In fact, the moment their plane landed from Tennessee, they went to a house fire. 

"We threw our gear on and hopped right in," Retting said. "And that was our introduction to the team... it was awesome."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 387485

Reported Deaths: 5116
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah59768836
Washington41571393
Marion39592504
Clackamas32426376
Lane29856354
Jackson24672350
Deschutes23182185
Umatilla15087180
Linn14488178
Douglas13236286
Josephine10057240
Yamhill9665142
Klamath8979145
Polk813698
Benton605137
Malheur591586
Coos5573106
Columbia423855
Jefferson416865
Lincoln357252
Union336854
Crook330156
Wasco314846
Clatsop258335
Baker217531
Tillamook214345
Hood River211337
Morrow197025
Curry190136
Harney119332
Grant108314
Lake104016
Wallowa74713
Sherman1903
Gilliam1844
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5061240

Reported Deaths: 74159
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152548627128
San Diego4047084319
Riverside3849455306
San Bernardino3718825944
Orange3329505675
Sacramento1674002423
Kern1565171781
Fresno1558992246
Santa Clara1511691922
Alameda1246581504
San Joaquin1070001833
Ventura1036461188
Contra Costa1032921045
Stanislaus912991413
Tulare856141082
San Francisco56614669
San Mateo56058629
Monterey52340625
Solano47422356
Santa Barbara47035548
Merced44807664
Sonoma42912412
Placer41881468
Imperial38128769
Kings35038358
San Luis Obispo31294358
Madera26005311
Shasta25917440
Butte25295309
Santa Cruz22028222
Yolo21451257
Marin18342248
El Dorado18166161
Sutter14494181
Napa13372104
Yuba1070088
Tehama10230129
Humboldt10043117
Nevada9914103
Mendocino848894
Lassen792355
San Benito775977
Tuolumne767790
Lake6990110
Amador573766
Siskiyou470954
Glenn455136
Calaveras435685
Del Norte371242
Colusa323519
Inyo254345
Plumas19127
Mono18294
Mariposa156718
Trinity98817
Modoc7475
Unassigned2430
Sierra2170
Alpine1060
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