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Firefighters use old education building for realistic training

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. –Team V firefighter’s us a thermal camera to help with visibility during a simulated burning building exercise here Feb. 11. Military and civilian firefighters along with the Hot Shots got an opportunity to perform different skills on the old education building set to be demolished within the next few months. U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Yvonne Morales)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. –Team V firefighter’s us a thermal camera to help with visibility during a simulated burning building exercise here Feb. 11. Military and civilian firefighters along with the Hot Shots got an opportunity to perform different skills on the old education building set to be demolished within the next few months. U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Yvonne Morales)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Eric Klinedinst, 30th Civil Engineering Squadron firefighter, crawls out of a simulated burning building after breaching though a wall here Feb. 14. Military and civilian firefighters along with the Hot Shots got an opportunity to perform different skills on the old education building set to be demolished within the next few months. U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Yvonne Morales) )

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Eric Klinedinst, 30th Civil Engineering Squadron firefighter, crawls out of a simulated burning building after breaching though a wall here Feb. 14. Military and civilian firefighters along with the Hot Shots got an opportunity to perform different skills on the old education building set to be demolished within the next few months. U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Yvonne Morales) )

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Team V firefighters get briefed on forced entry here Feb. 11. Military and civilian firefighters along with the Hot Shots got an opportunity to perform different skills on the old education building set to be demolished within the next few months. U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Yvonne Morales)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Team V firefighters get briefed on forced entry here Feb. 11. Military and civilian firefighters along with the Hot Shots got an opportunity to perform different skills on the old education building set to be demolished within the next few months. U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Yvonne Morales)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Staff Sgt. Anthony Montano, 30th Civil Engineering Squadron firefighter, performs a forced entry technique using a rotary saw here Feb. 11. Military and civilian firefighters along with the Hot Shots got an opportunity to perform different skills on the old education building set to be demolished within the next few months. U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Yvonne Morales)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Staff Sgt. Anthony Montano, 30th Civil Engineering Squadron firefighter, performs a forced entry technique using a rotary saw here Feb. 11. Military and civilian firefighters along with the Hot Shots got an opportunity to perform different skills on the old education building set to be demolished within the next few months. U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Yvonne Morales)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Jesse Hendricks, 30th Civil Engineering Squadron captain, performs a forced entry technique here Feb. 11. Military and civilian firefighters along with the Hot Shots got an opportunity to perform different skills on the old education building set to be demolished within the next few months. U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Yvonne Morales)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Jesse Hendricks, 30th Civil Engineering Squadron captain, performs a forced entry technique here Feb. 11. Military and civilian firefighters along with the Hot Shots got an opportunity to perform different skills on the old education building set to be demolished within the next few months. U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Yvonne Morales)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Vandenberg firefighters recently tore through the base's old education center to receive some education of their own throughout the month of February.

The 60 year old building slated for demolition served a great purpose for the firefighters during the past few weeks. Military and civilian firefighters, along with the Hot Shots, had the opportunity to put the skills they have learned to practice by performing different training scenarios.

"With this opportunity we get a unique chance to take what we have learned through classroom and familiarization, and physically perform vertical roof ventilation and see the effects of proper ventilation," said Tech. Sgt. Joseph Absher, 30th Civil Engineering Squadron firefighter. "The hands-on training and experience the guys get from this is unmatched."
The firefighters performed forcible entry, wall breaching, firefighter survival and search and rescue.

"This type of training does not happen very often, and for some it doesn't ever happen," Said Absher.

The last time Team V firefighters were able to conduct similar training was when the east housing was demolished in 1995. Most firefighter only experience this type of training once in their entire career.

"The training was very realistic, we had to go through a smoke filled environment with very little visibility and breach through a wall," said James Powell 30th Civil Engineering Squadron firefighter and medic. "The training was invaluable. You can't build anything like this and maintain it."

The training gave the firefighters an opportunity to use tools and equipment for what they are designed to do while in a safe and controlled environment. Old buildings are hard to come by and are essential in making sure firefighters are well prepared for ventilating a home during a fire.

With more training, knowledge, and experience under their belt; the firefighters can continue to protect people, the environment and property from all types of accident and emergencies.