The heat of the moment: How Bradenton firefighters train | From Fox13 News

Fox 13 News

Photos courtesy of City of Bradenton Fire Department
Story courtesy of Fox13 News



In a matter of moments, firefighters from Bradenton Fire Rescue can find themselves in any situation.

“Things happen really, really quickly and there is a lot of work to put into it,” said Firefighter Joe Torretta.

They need to be prepared for whatever fire they will face, and training is vital.

“Just keeps you thinking quick. Keeps you using your senses to figure out what is going on around you,” Torretta said.

This crew has missed out on live fire training. They do train in controlled environments.

Years ago, the agency would train on homes that were purposely set on fire. After the State Fire Marshal’s office changed a rule, the opportunity for live training came to a halt.

“Any time you can get closest to the real thing it’s going to fine tune that team,” said Firefighter Joe Baker.

For the last five years, Bradenton Fire Rescue had rarely had any live fire training, but that all changed with a discussion with Manatee Technical College.

“A lot of it is just them working as a team pulling the hose lines, making entry a lot of radio> communications,” said Instructor Steven Trompke.

The crews train at the million-dollar, state-of-the-art facility. A concrete building transforms into their classroom.

Couches can be set on fire, and blazes started in any room.

“This is completely a controlled system so that we can send them in, we can light this scenario off, and if something goes wrong we simply hit a button and everything shuts down,” said Fire Science Coordinator Henry Sheffield.

Here, mistakes can be made, and skills are fine tuned as a group.

“We’d rather see them make mistakes here on the training ground than in an actual structure fire,” Trompke said.

It is done to make sure they are prepared for the next call.

“Without this, you are going into fires blind,” Baker said.

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