YAKIMA, Wash - Firefighters nationwide are in Stand Down Week. Departments are required to stop all non-emergency activity and check their equipment. They will also hold training sessions throughout the week to practice safety with the firefighters. The fire tragedy in South Carolina gives the department an extra reason to do this.
"The building and the nine fire fighter deaths just happened to be around this particular time. National Stand Down day has been around for several years, but that does put a special emphasis on the whole reason we're doing this," says Don Dexter of the Yakima Fire Department.
The last time an on-duty firefighter died in yakima was in 1995.
Department officials also say they are teaching crews about physical fitness and how it ties into their safety.