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Thousands refine firefighting skills at conference

SAN DIEGO – For four days, firefighters from all over the country will be in San Diego for the annual Firehouse World Conference.

firefighter conferenceThey’ll spend two days practicing real life training scenarios and two days in the classroom.

Training scenarios include forcible entry, life saving skills, surviving a collapsed building and scaling down a multistory complex.

The skills they’re learning are mostly review, but even the most experienced firefighters said you’ve got to be prepared for anything and everything.

“On average, each year we lose 100 firefighters nationwide on the job and we need to work on that. The only way is to practice on our survival skills,” said Andrew Ruiz of the Los Angeles City Fire Department.

He’s teaching veterans and novice firefighters how to save themselves in some of the worst case scenarios.

“In a controlled environment they can learn the skills, so that way it’s second nature when they’re under pressure and surrounded by smoke and fire,” Ruiz said.

Instructors hope the firefighters will be able to take home their newly learned skills to their departments, and in the long term help to save more lives including their own.