Stevens Point Fire Department trains with live structure fire

Published: Apr. 8, 2023 at 8:47 PM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. For the Stevens Point Fire Department, they’re using their live structure fire training to show their crew the real deal.

“When they are called in a community member’s emergent situation, they’re able to react due to that muscle memory that we’ve created through these training burns like you see here today,” said Chief JB Moody, Stevens Point Fire Department.

“It’s not something we get to see very often and sometimes fires are few and far between for us,” said Jennifer Petkoff, Firefighter/Paramedic, Stevens Point Fire Department. “So it’s good to get there and get some live training out of the action.”

When dealing with a structure fire, it’s a battle unlike any other.

“When they make the threshold of that door, you’re gonna lose visibility, you’re going to have increases in heat until you get to the seat of the fire,” said Chief Moody. “When you get to the seat of the fire, potentially you’ll have zero visibility or be able to see basically out to your where the front of your hand is and that’s it.”

A battle that requires plenty of heart.

“You gotta be hard working, you gotta be dedicated,” said Petkoff. “It takes a lot of time, a lot of effort, a lot of training.”

But no matter where that battle takes a firefighter, it cannot be done without a great team behind them.

“You lead by example, you walk the talk, and this is a family, this is a team,” said Chief Moody. “And without the team, none of this is possible. We don’t put fires out, we don’t save properties, we don’t bring people out of burning buildings. We’re not able to do trainings like this without the team.”

“It’s a great family here, we come together,” said Petkoff. “And in situations like this where we can learn from each other and really build that teamwork.”

Chief Moody mentioned the department just purchased a three story, state-of-the-art live burn facility that’s going to be delivered and put in their new regional training site this summer.