Iowa firefighters work to perfect technique - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Iowa firefighters work to perfect technique at firefighter school

Firefighters had to lay down 400 feet of hose through a three story building in less than 90 seconds. Firefighters had to lay down 400 feet of hose through a three story building in less than 90 seconds.

In firefighting, starting well is essential.

"We're focusing on the most crucial moments of a fire right now. The first couple minutes as we get those lines stretched and make sure that we're prepared to move quickly through that structure. This is where it all begins. This is how we decide how the fire's going to go, right here," said Josh Bennett, an instructor and five-year veteran for the Spencer, Iowa, fire department.

These firefighting students have left the classroom for the field to improve their techniques, but there's no fire for them to work with.

"You don't have to put out the fire right away. There's nobody in there that you have to go save, but you still want to use those training tactics," said Garth Wolff, a firefighter.

Even without flames, there are plenty of challenges.

"Obviously, the weather is one of the biggest difficulties. We're working with an ice skating rink right now, but as everyone knows, fires don't have seasons," said Josh Bennett, an instructor from Spencer.

Students tackle the tricky terrain by themselves at first. Then, they get a buddy to help with their approach.

"Different techniques, like the clamp slide and the crooked leaner," said Bennett.

"It's easier to be the person pushing, because you're pushing the person in front of you and you're using your strength and they're just leaning on you for support," said Wolff.

"Working in a team is something that we don't normally do, as far as so many. We have four guys on a team. That's something we don't normally do," said Michael Hayek, an eight-year veteran from Rolfe, Iowa.

The challenge: Getting more than 400 feet of hose through a three-story structure in less than 90 seconds.

"Kinks are the biggest ones. You've got to make sure that the water's going to flow properly, as you're laying the hose in that quick a time," said Hayek.

After a few repetitions, crews started to flow the house as effortlessly as the water went through the hose.

"Picking it up quick and moving very quickly at the end. We even had a few competitions for clean up duty at the end and it really inspired them and got them going. Got to see what they are capable of as firefighters," said Bennett.

That should have residents a little more confident in their local firefighters.

There were more than 40 firefighters from across Iowa at this school. The instructors were from Spencer and students from places like Burt, Algona and more.

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