Area firefighters train in Shore Mall -

Area firefighters train in Shore Mall

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Ranging from the roof top to the ground level, firefighters used all aspects of Shore Mall's structure as they continued their training Sunday morning.

After nearly four months of planning, the large building provides a rare, hand-on training opportunity for AtlantiCare, Egg Harbor Township Police and volunteer fire crews from Egg Harbor Township and Seaville.

"It's just a massive building and it gives the guys the opportunity to experience something we can't get at a fire academy or single family structure," said Egg Harbor Township Fire Chief Bill Danz.

Outside, crews conducted rooftop operations involving the building's air units while indoors, firefighters received a lesson in powering through concrete walls.

"It's rare," said Ed Fugee of the Bargaintown Fire Company.

 "I feel special and just pleased to get this kind of training."

And taking advantage of the large lay-out of the building, lessons in elevator rescue and large scale search and rescue we're reinforced.

Going as far as to place Saran Wrap over their masks to simulate smoky conditions, some of the younger firefighters realize and appreciate this rare chance to train.

"It's really awesome to be able to train in something like this," said LJ Raniszewski of Seaville Fire Rescue.

 "It's definitely a once in a lifetime learning experience. Don't know if it will ever come around again in this area, it's just a great learning experience."

All of the firefighters here are volunteers and whether it's climbing a ladder or knocking down a wall, they know this training will be used to keep themselves, and township residents, safe.

"Most of us have 9 to 5 or 7 to 3:30 jobs during the week and we still do this on top of it," said Egg Harbor Township Fire training officer Gil Zonge.

"We're volunteering our time for ourselves and also the residents of our community."

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