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West Lafayette firefighters train for incoming high-rises

The firefighters are training to see what they need to do if a fire was to break out in one of the new high-rise buildings.

Posted: Apr 25, 2018 3:21 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — New high-rise buildings are changing the skyline of West Lafayette and the way firefighters need to train for emergencies at these new locations.

West Lafayette firefighters are freshening up on their training as new high-rise buildings pop up around the city. They are going through drills to experience what happens if a fire breaks out in one of the high-rise buildings. Not only are they able to perfect their response time, but they can see what they need to prepare for if the real thing happens.

"We're gonna get in there, we're gonna pre-plan the building, " said Lieutenant of Training Eric Doyle. "We're gonna wrap our mind around what we're up against or what we're going into."

For the next few days, Doyle is taking around 45 firefighters through simulations. Captain Keith Barker will also participate.

"Our motto here is we want to train until we can't get it wrong," Barker said.

They're using the Wabash Landing Parking Garage to go over their skills and test out new equipment.

"We had systems before," said Doyle. "We've basically just added some equipment and lighter weight hose to make it easier more effective for us to get up into the building."

Firefighters said once they put on their gear and they grab their hose, they could be carrying up to 80 pounds on those flights of stairs. So, this gives them a good chance to see if they're physically fit to tackle on a challenge like this.

Barker said, "This is where we want to make mistakes or find any problems."

They will adjust their tactics if they need to. Doyle said there are benefits to these new buildings that will also help them out.

"Most of them have fire pumps and they're a wet standpipe, so the water is basically there to start with," said Doyle.

With this new system, they can get a lot of water very quickly up into the building. This will allow them to fight potential fires faster.

"We've done it in training, we've been in that scenario," Doyle said. "We know what to do. So, you come up you say, 'Hey okay, I know what to. I'm on the right page, let's go do it.'"

While these high-rises are being built, the firefighters will continue to inspect the buildings. They are checking to make sure proper fire safety codes are being met during construction.

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