Firefighter safety continues to grow post 911 - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Firefighter safety continues to grow after 9/11

By Tayleigh Davis - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Firefighters were among the innocent people who died during the horrific attacks. Albany's Fire Department is stepping up efforts to protect our public servants.

Those measures include improving equipment and training. Firefighters practiced ventilating a roof on their training grounds. Before fire-fighters respond to a call, supervisors want to make sure they can rescue victims and make it back safely.

"Firefighter safety is the biggest thing because if something happens to us, we can't help anyone else," said Lt. Ricky Thompson with the Albany Fire Department. 

Using an aerial truck, firefighters practiced ventilating a roof. They cut a four-by-four foot hole into a board on top of their practice building. The ventilation allows smoke to escape in an actual fire.

The fire department uses improved gear including the nomax hood which protects their head and ears, and neck from the heat. The lighter weight fiberglass composite helmet protects them just as well. The cuffs wrap around the thumb to keep the material from rolling up and exposing their wrists to the fire.

Names are on the back of each jacket a long with more reflective material to make firefighters easier to identify.

"It's a blessing for the smaller stations that didn't have the equipment or training they needed," said Capt. Tony Denby with the Albany Fire Department.

It's also a blessing for the heroes who have friends and family waiting for them to return home safely. The fire department holds different training exercises each month. Next month's will involve Hazmat training.

Up-to-date equipment is just as important to the Albany Fire Department. It's added 10 trucks, including a new aerial truck to the division over a three year period.

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