YAKIMA, Wash. - When a fire tears through a home or an apartment complex, every second counts, especially if there are victims trapped inside.
Tragedy struck last week when a Sunnyside woman was killed in a house fire. Firefighters tell NBC Right Now they are always working to make sure that people get out of burning homes safely. They say they are constantly training to keep rescue tactics fresh in their mind so they are ready to handle any situation while battling house fires.
Last weekend, 15 people were rescued from a burning apartment complex in Yakima thanks to the quick actions of firefighters.
Firefighters say saving lives is their number one priority.
"The fire department, with anything we do, people are the priority; Buildings second, people first," said Yakima Fire Department Capt. Tom Schneider.
Schneider says the instant there is evidence of someone trapped in a burning building, firefighters go into rescue mode to save them. He also says their rescue training starts with their entry level firefighters and continues all the way to their command level officers.
Firefighters say rescue mode is the primary focus from day one of training. They have an acronym they follow called RECEO which stands for rescue, exposure, containment, extinguish and overhaul.