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STAYING SHARP: Firefighters drill on confined space response

Being a firefighter, it is important to always stay fresh and prepared for whenever a disaster occurs. This is why firefighters across Franklin County have participated in several different training drills over the past couple weeks.

Firefighters with Russellville Fire Department participated in drills during their shifts throughout the week, and firefighters from local volunteer fire departments were encouraged to attend drills Thursday night.

“It is so important to stay sharp in a job like this,” said Russellville Fire Department Lt. John James, instructor for the drills. “This not only helps keep the guys used to doing things like this, but it also shows them some things they need to work on and be aware of.”

The firefighters have gone through training with propane tanks and in small spaces, and this week they will train on live fires.

“It is great we are able to do all of this training in a controlled area,” said Russellville Fire Chief Joe Mansell. “They are able to control the smoke and any flames we are working with so we are able to make sure things stay in control. We are able to get the training in that we need, but everyone is safe.”

Mansell said it is important to have training drills like these to make sure skills remain sharp.

“We are not out every single day fighting fires, so any time we are able to put the gear on and move around in it is a good thing,” Mansell said.

Mansell said Russellville typically holds training for firefighters at least once a year. 

“It is tough on everybody to do this – even guys who have a lot of years experience,” James said. “We would just rather them do these drills where they are prepared on what to do than get some place and not feel prepared.”