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Firefighters train on donated homes

Lawton_Temperatures in a house fire are extremely hot and the smoke is toxic and blinding.  Lawton Firefighters train year round at the Great Plains Vo-Tech and Friday, some new firefighters were able to experience the real thing.

They're constantly training, but when a house at 38th and Cache Road was offered for training, firefighters jumped at the opportunity to show new recruits what a real fire was like.  Firefighters say there's nothing like the real thing.  To go into an unfamiliar home forces them to react in a way that a textbook could never teach them.

Training they do at the station, or technical rescue and Hazmat are situations they work on all the time.  But, when there are new firefighters, seasoned veterans want to give them a taste of an authentic fire.

"The training we did today is very important for the new guys being able to go through and put them in a fire situation," said Lieutenant Scott Preston.  He says day to day drills help save lives and there's nothing like allowing firefighters to look through the scenario and help the make corrections before a real cal comes in.  "Where we can help them to search and locate the fire better," he says.

Rod Brown got to experience it first hand - with his dad.  Brown's father was a firefighter and he says he new he had a calling.  He says that today's real life scenario was exciting.  Rod Brown says it was a rush.  "You know it's been exciting I've seen a lot of things I haven't ever seen before," he said.  .  "Like a working house fire, you go in and automatically, you can't see anything.  So, you have to rely on your training."

"Deals like this, where we are able to get a house and we can go in and practice forcible entry, set up a smoke simulator and be able to take them [new firefighters] through an actual house," says Preston.  Donated empty homes help these heroes better do their jobs.

Lawton Firefighters say it had been at least six months since they had had a chance to run drills using real houses in the community.  They say if you have an empty home and would like to donate it to the fire department for training, please call 580-581-3348 and let them know.

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