TOP PHOTO: This abandoned house that sits along Loop Road in Ford Town served as a training ground for La Follette Fire Fighters.
LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Class was in session at an abandoned house on Wednesday morning for firefighters with the La Follette Fire Department. Across from the old Ford Town Baptist Church on Loop Road is where a dozen firefighters, mostly new recruits, donned their equipment and stepped into the burning frame structure. The training session lasted the better part of three hours from arrival to clearing the scene around 11:30am.
“We’re doing a lot of search and rescue along with air pack training. This is mostly for our new recruits,” said LFD Assistant Fire Chief Eddie Hatmaker.
Those in the immediate area could smell smoke, see flames and hear quite a bit of a beeping sound. “When a firefighter’s not moving, there’s cause for alarm, and that’s why you’re hearing the beeping sound from their PASS (personal alert safety system). While just standing there listening and learning is why the alarm is sounding. Now when they’re, say in real danger, the sound goes really loud and strobe lights on their air packs flash,” said Jimmy Pack, Chief of the La Follette Fire Department.
“You must stay on your game in this type training situation,” said LFD Captain Dusty Davis. The captain goes on to say, “We’re showing them how a fire starts and how it spreads. We’re also getting them used to the heat.”
An old large, well built house on the four lane in La Follette will serve as the next venue for more training. “We’re hoping to have that training session sometime in January. Several of the county’s fire agencies will take part in that session,” said Chief Pack. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/16/2021-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF LFD CAPTAIN DUSTY DAVIS)