Tulsa Fire Cadets Soak Up Training While Fighting Flames

Friday, May 18th 2012, 12:16 am
By: News On 6

Cadets going through the Tulsa Fire Department's academy are going outside the textbook.

Thursday, they took their second certification test and they made a pit stop this week just to make sure they knew their stuff.

It's a typical day on the job for Tulsa firefighters.

But this storage fire is a special learning opportunity for Tulsa's soon-to-be firefighters.

"When you get to put your hands on it, you not only enjoy it more but you absorb it better," TFD cadet Ryan Spyres said.

Ryan Spyres was a volunteer firefighter before applying with Tulsa.

He's one of 23 cadets who took over the scene once the veteran firefighters put out the flames.

" Making sure all the hot spots were out," Spyres said. "You have to remove everything to make sure everything is out and we were just glad to come out here and get away from the training center for a few hours."

Training officers retraced the fire attack step-by-step, pointing out things like how firefighters opened up these sheds using a teepee cut cadets have read about.

"Some of the new stuff in the books, do they really use it? And it's good to see that first hand and that's an actual skill that we need to learn," cadet Turner Hodges said.

Hodges, 22, is a rookie and liked working as a team on a real fire.

"Pretty close family, we've spent the last 15 weeks together, day in day out pretty much," Hodges said.

You can only teach so much in the classroom. Gettting in the field is the best way to learn.

"So by giving these cadets some hands on experience, when they get out to a fire station in our neighborhoods within the city of Tulsa, they're going to be more ready to go and do a better job," TFD's Tim Smallwood said.

The cadets only have a month and a half left of training before they graduate.

Five storage sheds were destroyed in that fire and arson investigators have yet to determine a cause.