Firefighters state conference underway in Albany - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Firefighters state conference underway in Albany

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Firefighters say new construction techniques pose big challenges for them. These days most homes are built out of lighter materials that burn much faster.

" You know you have lighter weight construction that burns much faster, materials that are in homes now produce more toxic gases when they burn, those provide challenges, but equipment continues to improve." Says Lanier Swafford, President of the Georgia State Firefighters Association.

 And every year Georgia firefighters get to learn about the latest equipment, and technology available during their annual conference. 

For the first time in decades, the conference is being held in Albany.

"Oh we have been looking forward to this for several months, its been since 1961 since Albany had its conference so its exciting," says Don Laye, Director of Fire Science at Albany Tech.

Some of the latest advancements in firefighting include thermal imaging.

"You know the ability to find people in smoke filled environments, that's been a great addition. You know some of the safety features that you now see in fire trucks. Airbags, better use of seat belts, those types of things. The gear we wear is safer, it allows better protection for the firefighter," says Swafford. 

The conference is also an opportunity for people to do some networking.

"You see folks in like size departments, and many different areas of the state that are having accomplishments through doing this and together you maybe can resolve these problems because you have already walked in their shoes and can tell them what pitfalls can be coming or advantages they can use," he says.

This week firefighters will also learn more about fire insurance premiums, and attend Chaplin classes.

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