Hands-on training invaluable for fire crews - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Hands-on training invaluable for fire crews

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By Bonnie Shelton

WAUSAU (WAOW)--There's nothing like being in the midst of a burning building and for a few rookies on the Wausau Fire Department's crew, Saturday's training exercise was as close as they'll get before being faced with the real deal.

Rarely do fire fighters start blazes, but in this case the very thing they're hired to fight, is a teaching tool.

"You just cant beat this type of training in a real situation and real fire," said Battalion Chief Paul Czarapata.

The Wausau Fire Department got the chance to burn down a home in downtown Wausau in an effort to teach new procedures and train new recruits, including Ruben Macias. He said, "This doesn't even compare to what they teach you in the schools. This is hands-on, live training."

Macias joined the fire department after serving in the military.

"I got to go overseas and do some things over there so, I just kind of got to be real thankful for everything that we have here and I wanted to kind of make this place better than what it is already," he said. For fire fighters like Macias, this type of simulation training is invaluable. He was hired two weeks ago.

Czarapata said getting the chance to burn down a home is rare, but can provide essential on the job experience in this line of work.

Fire can be spontaneous, smoke overwhelming, but thanks to this training, fire fighters get some valuable experience that can't be beat.

Online Reporter: Bonnie Shelton

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