ABILENE, Texas (KRBC) - The Abilene Fire Department recently brought in 11 recruits and on Wednesday they got the chance to take on a "live fire burn." This day gives the recruits hands-on experience with what to do when they go to an active fire.
"None of us do this because it is a job, we do it because we love it," said Ben Smith, one of the recruits from Lubbock.
Smith said at first he was nervous but in a good way.
"First burn with this department, new guys but a lot of good guys, training staff here is awesome and also the chiefs being here kind of, anytime a chief is around you are a little nervous," said Smith.
Once he got inside the building he was in his element.
"You have checkoffs so when you go in you kind of get in the zone as far as what you want to do, what you need to accomplish. Depending on where you are at and what you are doing you'll be doing different tasks so really it is more you just get in there and do your job," said Smith.
J Sanders, with the AFD, says the live fire burn is one of the most vital days of training.
"You want to make sure they are able to successfully go into a burning building and complete a tasks, extinguish the fire and take care of all the tactics that are involve in being a firefighter and do it in a skillful way because if we are going to find out if someone is not cut out to be a firefighter this is the time to do it," said Sanders.
While recruits work their way through the building active firefighters show them how to personalize their training to match Abilene's needs.
"They are not going to learn everything just today, they are going to learn different tactics and different skills with different officers and different stations that do different things," said Sanders.
When it comes it comes to being ready for a real fire, Smith says he thinks he is.
If they make it through the rest of the week the recruits will graduate on Friday to become an official Abilene firefighter.