Firefighters enhance skills by tearing apart Sandy house - NBC40.net

Firefighters enhance skills by tearing apart Sandy damaged house

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OCEAN CITY -

It's the kind of job that you never stop training for, and Friday was one of those learning days for the Ocean City and Margate Fire Departments.

Every minute counts when it comes to getting a victim or in this case a fellow first responder out of a risky situation.

"We approach it as who saves the firefighters when they get trapped or injured, lost and disoriented in what we call a dangerous atmosphere," said Chief Christopher Breunig of the Ocean City Fire Department.

Firefighters perform search and rescues on a daily basis - but when it comes to lifting an unconscious man who is wearing an extra one hundred pounds of gear - the task can seem almost impossible and in some cases can become deadly.

That's why the "Safety and Survival" training company was created.

"Unfortunately firefighters that have gone before us - we learn by their deaths and hopefully we never have to deal with that ourselves," said "Safety and Survival" manager, Daniel DiRenzo.

Both the Ocean City and Margate Fire Departments are training for the worst.

Everything from hoisting firefighters through windows, to facing the fire in order to find a brother in trouble.

"It's very important we all know that each other is trained to be able to help each other," said Ocean City firefighter, Raymond Clark. "That's what training will do. Allow us to help a down firefighter."

In the chance that a firefighter falls through the floor, the first responders from up above will send one of their men down to help rescue him.

This is a skill that is practiced through a simulated roof collapse.

But no matter what danger they face - these men say it's all part of the job. They just want the best chance possible of all of them making it out alive.

"It's a combat zone - we need to prepare our firefighters for combat and make sure they are properly trained so they can get out and see their loved ones at the end of the day."

The Ocean City house where training took place was severely damaged during Hurricane Sandy and is slated to be demolished some time next week.

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