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Firefighter recruits conduct live fire training

Thunder Bay Fire Rescue's 2022 class of seven recruits practised combating a live fire, weeks before joining TBFR platoons.

THUNDER BAY – Thunder Bay’s latest crop of firefighter recruits participated in live fire training exercises Tuesday, gaining valuable real world experience before joining Thunder Bay Fire Rescue platoons over the coming weeks.

The 2022 class of seven recruits put out a live fire Tuesday at the TBFR’s training centre on Hammond Avenue, where trainers recreate a structure fire situation by burning materials like wood and straw in a darkened room.

Platoon chief John Kaplanis said the exercise provides a valuable chance to test skills, tactics, and equipment in an environment made to feel as realistic as possible.

He called the live fire exercise a “critical” step for new recruits.

“Even with modern construction and safety regulations, interior structural firefighting is still the most dangerous aspect of our job,” he said.

Recruits practised extinguishing fires, conducting interior searches, victim removal, operating equipment like thermal imaging cameras, and ventilating toxic smoke-filled atmospheres.

They also trained on support operations for structure fires including basic ladder techniques, conducting hose lays, advancing hose lines, and securing water supply.

Recruits were paired with veteran firefighters from the TBFR’s B Platoon for the exercise.

The new hires, who have completed 14 weeks of training, will soon be joining platoons across the department.

However, Kaplanis emphasized learning continues on the job.

“As a firefighter, the training never really stops, from the day we hire on to the day we retire,” he said.

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