"Fire Ops 101" at HAMMER in Richland - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

"Fire Ops 101" at HAMMER in Richland

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RICHLAND, Wash. -- Firefighters from all over the state were helping community leaders and policy makers test out their firefighting skills Friday at the HAMMER training center in Richland.

It was all part of "Fire Ops 101", an event they've held at HAMMER four years in a row. The politicians were put in mock emergency situations like turning off a burning propane tank, moving through a burning building, and climbing a 95-foot ladder. Firefighters said they want the leaders experience what they go through, so departments don't get short-changed when it comes time to allocate funding.

"We hope that when they're in the process of making those decisions, that they're thinking back on those things they had gone through and they're making decisions based on knowledge and not sitting behind a desk making them", said Curtis Walsh, Richland Fire Department Battalion Chief.

To keep everyone safe, each participant had a firefighter shadowing them through each exercise. They also had their blood pressure checked several times throughout the day.