State Firefighters In Collinsville For Training

Saturday, May 30th 2009, 10:48 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley, The News On 6

COLLINSVILLE, OK -- Firefighters from around the state were in Collinsville on Saturday, getting the chance to learn from some of the best firefighting instructors.

They came to practice on an abandoned building.

Close to 40 firefighters put their skills to the test and learned new techniques from some of the best in the business.

Instructor Tony Piontek is from Green Bay, Wisc. He travels the country training firefighters, and he liked what he saw with the Oklahoma bunch.

"They're top-notch so far," he said. "Even a lot of the new guys, they got a lot of good skills and it says a lot about the state of Oklahoma fire training."

One training exercise involves a live fire. Instructors and leaders from the local departments say the experience is invaluable and will help everyone in the community.

"It's going to open our training up and open our eyes up to different ways of doing stuff, maybe a little more as far as protecting their assets and stuff, protecting their property and getting the fire out more quickly," Collinsville Capt. Dusty Danderson said.

The heat was one of the biggest obstacles of the day, but the firefighters say getting the chance to learn with top-notch national instructors is well worth the sweat.

The training continues Sunday, when they will ignite an entire building to practice putting out large structure fires. Organizers hope to have the national instructors back in another six months.