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Volunteer Firefighters Train With Live Fire

FF TRAININGTOLLAND, Mass. (WGGB) — It was a busy morning of training Saturday for more than a dozen volunteer firefighters from Tolland, Otis, Granville, and Sandisfield.

For some, it was their first brush with a live fire.

“You don’t want to be training people at an actual fire. So this is an invaluable first hand experience, get that nervousness out of their system. They realize they are safe, have good gear the town has provided us with, good training, and they will fall back on that when the real time comes,” explained Deputy Fire Chief Eric Munson.

Inside this trailer, firefighters had the opportunity to experience some of the things they’d experience in a real fire, like a stove fire, a fire rollover, and a bed fire. Conditions inside even mimicked the real thing.

“It was very hot, and very realistic. I have been with the department for about 25 years, so I’ve been in many structure fires, and fought real fires, so they have done a very good job with the simulation of an actual fire.” said Munson.

Tolland’s Chief, Michael Sullivan, got on a waiting list with the state Fire Academy for the training trailer over a year ago.

While his community doesn’t often see fires like the one that killed two Boston firefighters, he wants his firefighters prepared for when something serious does happen.

“I tell my guys, any incident or alarm, everybody come home.The tones go off, i want you guys going back home at the end of the day,” Sullivan said.

Recruiting can be difficult in the small community, but it’s experiences like the one today that can pay off for some volunteers.

“It’s a definte stepping stone for some of my younger guys in town who want to move up in the ranks of firefighting. This is the way to do it, volunteering” noted Sullivan.

Any one is welcome to join the volunteer fire force in Tolland, all you need to do is go to the fire headquarters at 6:30 on a Tuesday night to start training.

Cheif Sullivan says no one should discount themselves from being a volunteer firefighter; anyone is welcome to join.

He says the job can be a great fit for many women, especially stay-at-home moms.


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