Bowling Green fire department training heads to the hill

BOWLING GREEN Ky.- To make sure the fire department is always prepared to save lives, the training is a constant. Tuesday, the focus was high rise training, which involved maneuvering through a multi-story building. While the fire department has experienced this before, a generous offer to use Bemis Lawrence Hall on the campus of Western Kentucky University as training grounds provided a realistic experience.

“For one, we don’t have very many opportunities for high rise training. When we can get an in-context building such as this that Western is going to demolish, we can not worry so much about tearing stuff up,” said Bowling Green Fire Department training chief Brian Chambers.

Firefighter Chris Stafford said Tuesday’s training was what he thought it would be, but getting the experience of an actual building was a chance for another perspective.

“For the most part, it was what I expected. I’ve never been in this building. For me, it was running in, we got to go up and do recon, and radio back what the operation was going to be,” Stafford said.

After the training, the group met for an after-action review, where Stafford and the other firefighters reflected on why they took this on in the first place.

“The brotherhood. The opportunity to train and get better. This is a profession that you can’t take lightly. It claims a lot of people. That’s something that I take very near and dear to me, is making sure that myself as well as everyone here with me goes home at the end of the day,” Stafford said.