A Fort Rucker builidng caught on fire today. No one was injured and in fact, it was set on purpose. Its all part of a training process the Dothan Fire Departments "Rookies" go through in order to prepare them to be firefighters. The first four weeks consists of Emergency Medical Technician training. It teaches them how to be an E.M.T. The next eight weeks are focused on how to become a firefighter. (Doing firefighter work,learning how and what it takes,). Jason Braswell is one of the many "rookies" who aspireS to be a firefighter. He appreciates the preparation hes going through and is excited about what is in store for the future. "Seeing the reactions of the people youre saving, the relief that you are there to help them is a good feeling," says Braswell. Their job isn`t easy. Equipment alone weighs anywhere from 50 to 75 pounds...and that is just the beginning. Some drills consist of saving a life size dummy in a 1400 degree farenheight buiding. Rookies have been training for three months and with two weeks left to go, they say they feel prepared for the real thing. It is too expensive for every fire department to own their own training division. Many local fire departments train at Fort Rucker because they have a training area that is known to be "enviornmentally safe". "Its sythetic smoke with propane gas for flames. They can go in, fight the fire, make mistakes, go back and get critiqued and try again. If it were a regular building, like we use to use,once it`s burned it`s burned," says Fort Rucker Fire Chief Kenneth Klein. In 14 days, their hard work will payoff. They will officially be known and recognized as what theyve always dreamed of becoming..a firefighter. "They`re doing great! They`ve been working 12 weeks, giving it there all and making sacrifices to get through.We are very pleased and proud of all of them," says Larry Williams, Dothan Fire Department Batallion Chief. JANA JACOBS-REPORTER WDHN 18 r.
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