Firefighters Simulate Real-Life Blaze - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Firefighters Simulate Real-Life Blaze

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BILLINGS -

Nearly 75 Billings firefighters are getting a real-life taste of smoke and flames for the week.

Where there's smoke there's always a firefighter. Even though the Monday's fire was controlled, firefighters said that walking into a burning building is always exciting. "Oh man, it's the thrill of a lifetime. If you've ever been sky diving or in any of those adrenaline-type sports that's what it is. It's hot and it's sweaty, but that's what you're in there to do. You feel like you're helping the community. It's just a great experience. I love it," firefighter, Joshua Thompson said.

Thompson has been with the department since February 2012. He said the simulation is the opportunity of a lifetime. "There's always something to learn. It seems like every drill you do it's never exactly the same. You have to work with the situation, listen to your captain, and do exactly what he says," Thompson said.

Training officer, Matt Hoppel, said firefighter rarely get the chance to learn from a controlled real-life situation. "We would much rather do a training scenario where it's a controlled situation and not have to train at a fire at someone's house. We want to be training somewhere like this," Hoppel said.

Hoppel said the hot dry weather pushes firefighters to work harder. "It just gives us that real effect of what it takes, and what kind of condition we need to be in to fight these fires," Hoppel said.

Hoppel said the realistic environment means less anxiety for firefighters during a real-life scenario.

Billings firefighters will end their simulation on the 3rd of July by demolishing the structure.

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