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Local Firefighters Battle Blazes For Training Exercise

The Long Meadow Volunteer Fire Company organized a live-fire training exercise for Saturday and Sunday to give firefighters from several local fire companies an opportunity to practice.

HAGERSTOWN, Md.When a fire is spreading and there is no time to lose, firefighters say their training kicks in.

That is what live-fire training exercises are for: to prepare firefighters for real situations where they might have to go inside a burning building.

The Long Meadow Volunteer Fire Company organized a live-fire training exercise for Saturday and Sunday to give firefighters from several local fire companies an opportunity to practice.

"We give our personnel the opportunity to actually go into a structure and put fires out so we're ready to do that in our communities," said Adam Hopkins of the Long Meadow Volunteer Fire Company.

"The last time was June 2007,” said Hopkins. “Before that was in 1999 so it's not an opportunity that comes very often."

That is because fire companies have to follow numerous regulations to set these drills up. The Long Meadow Volunteer Fire Company says they had to put in more than 100 hours of work to make sure their drill followed those regulations.

"We put window coverings up, we had to have a pre-cut ventilation hole in the roof so we can allow the hot gases to escape," said Hopkins.

The dozens of firefighters that participated know this weekend might be their only chance to practice putting out real fires in a controlled environment, so they're taking full advantage of the opportunity.

"[The firefighters] are excited about it, they've learned a lot, they've got the opportunity to enhance their skills and build on them so they're ready the next time they've got to go out the door for real," said Hopkins.

A total of nine local fire companies participated in the exercise.

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