Fire college keeps skills fresh

The Quincy Fire Department held its sixth annual Fire College this weekend.

Volunteer firefighters from 27 Tri-State fire departments took part in safety classes about
thermal imaging, search and rescue, and wild land fire fighting. Saturday, they took part in a tower burning scenario, giving them close to real-life experiences in events they don't encounter often.

Participants ranged from veteran firefighters to new ones.

Despite their status, officials say these courses are vital.

"When it comes to firefighting, for one thing there's always new techniques being developed, new techniques being introduced to the market, so it's always good for firefighters to get a chance to get exposed to these new things," Quincy Fire Chief Joe Henning said.

"But also, firefighting is a skill you have to use to actually maintain your skill. So it's important for everyone to get their hands on tools to get into some live smoke and to make sure they remain acclimated to the conditions of firefighting."

More than 170 firefighters took part in the Fire College training. The cost was $45 per volunteer.