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Fire training is just as dangerous

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February 23, 2008

Albany -- Before a firefighter can rescue you from flames, they spent hours preparing. "On a continuous basis we are training and we do our best to prepare for the incidents," said Albany Fire Training Chief, Ron Rowe.

"We do 240 hours per person every year, and we also do 24 hours of continuous education as a minimum requirement. We do the core competencies. And when it comes to doing the live fire training, we do six hours per person."

The strain caused during the constant training and ongoing emergency calls can take its toll. "It is very physically demanding," said Rowe.

"The Harvard Medical Journal last year, if I am remembering that correctly, put out that while a firefighter is performing their job duties, the are 400 times more likely to have a heart attack and die than any other profession.

"Firefighting is not only physically challenging, it is mentally challenging also. There is a lot of things from the mental side that you are going to have to see, you are going to have to adapt too that most people will never have to encounter in their lifetime," said Rowe.

But regardless of the risks, most firefighters wouldn't trade it for the world.

"Well I have been here a little over 22 years. And I don't believe there is a profession out there that gives you the thrill, the excitement and the gratitude of dealing with people and helping the public the way we can," said Rowe.

Even though if it could one day cost them their lives.

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