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Training Exercise Sheds Light On Perils Of Firefighting

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Firefighters prepare for training exercise. (WWJ/Mike Campbell)

Firefighters prepare for training exercise. (WWJ/Mike Campbell)

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LINCOLN PARK (WWJ) – Heat, smoke, fire, and people needing help – it’s all in a day’s work for area firefighters.

WWJ Newsradio 950’s Mike Campbell had a chance to experience it for real – as a firefighter exercise Tuesday gave reporters a first hand – real feel for battling blazes. The exercise was aimed at garnering support for firefighters whose union says it is  necessary to make collective bargaining part of the Michigan Constitution.

The Michigan Professional Firefighters Union says the bargaining tactic gives them a seat at the table with city leaders who are making decisions that affect their safety — particularly concerning staffing decisions.

Lincoln Park Fire Department Lieutenant Liam Carroll talked with WWJ before he completed one part of the exercise: fighting a fire in a dark, smoke-filled room. “The temperature flashes for a moment but it’s enough to cook a chicken – if it’s on your helmet,” said Carroll. “That’s the bulk of the work that we do on an average day.”

“The temperature flashes for a moment but it’s enough to cook a chicken – if it’s on your helmet,” said Carroll.

Campbell donned the roughly 75-pounds of protective clothing and breathing gear and crawled into the room dragging a fire hose. “It was a bit scary,” he says, “but mostly hot and sweaty. And climbing the fire truck ladder three flights in full gear was fun — but tiring.”

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