With temperatures anywhere from 1,200 to 1,300 degrees, members of the Brownwood Fire Department face dangerous scenarios each time they respond to fire calls. Through the use of the Brownwood Fire Department’s live fire trainer, firefighters are able to learn life saving techniques.

Firefighters focused on nozzle and vent training on Tuesday afternoon at Camp Bowie. Tuesday’s exercises were part of quarterly training the depart holds.

“They’ll go over when to spray, when not to spray and how much to spray,” Assistant Fire Chief Grady Shuey said. “If you just spray too much water when at the wrong time you can make things worst. Same thing with venting — if you vent the fire wrong, then you can draw the fire through out the house and cause more damage.”

Shortly after 1 p.m., James LeMond and Ted Hull prepared for the afternoon’s training by stacking up plywood, hay and cardboard into a corner in the live fire trainer.

“Once the fire is lit, it will take about a minute to a minute and a half for it to work its way up the wall,” Lemond said. “Then, we close everything up to show how hot it can get and let them see the different heat layers.”

As the fire built up in the fire trainer, Jody Horton, Ron Groom and Joe Stieber were waiting outside the opposite end to enter. Once inside, LeMond instructed them on how to fight based on the heat layers seen.  

As LeMond led the training from the inside of the live fire trainer, Shuey and Hull were manning the outside vents.

“It gives us training opportunities to utilize fire in a way we were never able to do before,” Shuey said. “It helps keep us polished up on our techniques and breathing control with our air packs along with a host of different activities.”

Besides holding trainings at Camp Bowie, the Brownwood Fire Department has taken the mobile live fire trainer to hold trainings for members of the area volunteer fire departments. Some of the departments involved in the trainings included the Coleman VFD, Early VFD, Gorman VFD, Bangs VFD, North Lake VFD, Lake Bridge VFD, Lake Dam VFD, Eastland VFD and DeLeon VFD.