TOP PHOTO: This abandoned house that sits along Loop Road in Ford Town served as a training ground for La Follette Fire Fighters.

Firefighters with the La Follette Fire Department set their classroom on fire Wednesday morning and then began learning multiple lessons on how to stay safe while rescuing others.

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.

“Some of this house has been burned before. The wood that was burned is then sealed off from moisture and air which means the fire will take it very fast this time,” said LFD Captain Dusty Davis.

“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.

Back up lines of hose were ready just in case.

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.

There’s just one way to get used to the heat, and LFD firefighters learned front and center on Wednesday morning.

“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.”

Class was in session for La Follette Fire Fighters on Wednesday morning.

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)