Kennewick firefighters are always training - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Kennewick firefighters are always training

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Kennewick firefighters ran a training drill Sunday at a Kennewick business building to keep up their skills, so when they arrive at a fire scene there's no time delay in putting a fire out and keeping everyone safe.

Firefighters don't have time to think twice. A mistakes could be a matter of life or death, making Sunday's hose training very important.

Being a firefighter is a job that requires a lot of training and then continued training. In fact, twice a week training to make sure those skills stay fresh in their minds and muscles.

Kennewick Fire Department Battalion Chief Mikal Barnett says it's important for a firefighter's reactions to be automatic.

"It's critical because this is the kind of training, when you need these skills you need them in a hurry. A lot of times there's not very much time to think about it so it needs to be a lot of muscle memory," says Barnett.

Kennewick Fire Department Captain Dan Winslow worked with firefighters on Sunday's training drill, which focused on hoses.

"Hose training, stretching, connecting, breaking moving hose to quickly deploy to the scene of the fire with the water," says Winslow.

Firefighters want to get a fire put out as soon as possible and training aims to raise skill level to lower the time spent fighting the fire.

"Every time a mistake gets made it costs you time and time is more fire and more problems for the crews," says Winslow.

Training is a priority but not number one. It's dependant on emergency call volumes.

"A lot of times we'll be in the middle of training and we'll have an emergency call and have to leave hose and equipment on the ground and return to pick it up later to handle an emergency call first," says Winslow.

This job doesn't fit a schedule and certainly doesn't stop for triple digit weather when wearing all that heavy gear.

"This type of training, you can't wait till the weather's more conducive for training. This is training we could need two hours from now on a fire call so you've got to do it year round," says Winslow.

Sunday's hose training included five firefighters and took around an hour to complete.