CENTRAL POINT, Ore. -- About 50 firefighters participated in a live fire training exercise Thursday. This was the first live fire experience for Oregon Department of Forestry students.
This gave students a hands-on opportunity to apply strategies they learned in class, while also battling real-life elements.
Firefighters lit about 40 acres on fire Thursday, practicing mobile attacks. pump-and-roll tactics, and fire ground communications. This also gave seasonal firefighters a chance to get "back in the groove," as Forest Officer Taylor Quigley said.
He adds it's important for students to face real fire in a controlled environment before facing real wildland fire threats.
"We're not always going to be sitting right here in the parking lot ready to respond half a mile away from it," Quigley said. "But these new guys get a good idea of what it feels like to get out of the truck when a fire is burning right next to it, with the smoke and heat in your face."
McKenna Gugliotta is one of the students in today's training. For her, this is a family tradition. Both her father and grandfather were ODF firefighters.
"I didn't know a lot coming in," Gugliotta said. "It was interesting to learn how much they go through just to get to a fire and put it out."
There will be another training in Grants Pass Friday morning at the Oregon Department of Forestry headquarters.