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West County Firefighters Battle Real Blazes as Part of Training

Firefighters with the West County EMS and Fire Protection District and Metro West Fire Protection District spent the week battling real fires as part of their live fire training.

Firefighters with the and spent the last two weeks battling blazes as part of their live fire training.

Jeff Sadtler, deputy chief with West Country EMS and Fire Protection District tells Town and Country-Manchester Patch that the key to a live fire-training session is they are actual scenarios that firefighters encounter, such as apartment fires and fire victim rescues.

"The biggest thing about a real fire is that they're all different, and you don't know what you're going into, " Sadtler said. "This training is unscripted."

He said that as firefighters go through this training, they do not know what type of scenario they are dealing with until the fire starts. Once the fire scenarios are set up, the firefighters' arrival on scene is staggered as it would be on an actual fire call. They then assess the scene and develop a plan of attack as they do on regular calls.

Firefighters go through this live fire training for four to five days each quarter. This week and last week, fire crews from both departments trained at Metro West's training tower off New Ballwin Road in Castlewood.

"It's mutual-aid training, so both departments are familiar with everybody's responsibilities," Sadtler said.

Patch readers can view photos from this training in the above photo slideshow included in this article.

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