MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)- Macon-Bibb County firefighter recruits are learning how to work as a team. They douse flames while crawling through heavy smoke inside the fire department's burn building located at 2255 Tinker Drive. Fire Training Division Chief Reco Stephens says the exercise is an essential part of their training.
"The burn building is where we do our simulated structure fires to have a sort of control safe environment for those fire recruits to train in and also our fire fighters, " said Chief Stephens. "We also have them train there."
After training, each recruit is expected to be effective while battling blazes in the area. Macon and Bibb County fire fighters respond to 13,000 calls a year. There is only one woman in this training class. Nancy Haney..
"When I was little I saw my aunt's house burn and I felt helpless and so every since then I wanted to not be the person that's standing by," said Haney. "I wanted to be the person that's helping."
Fire recruit Charles O'neal said he always dreamed of being a firefighter.
"I always wanted to be able to help people," said O'Neal. "So I took an opportunity when it arrived and that's why I became a firefighter."
Lead Fire Instructor Phillip Adams and instructor Joe Herndon keep a close eye on their recruits. The veteran firefighters teach them about safety first, so that they will know how to control a blaze when they arrive on the scene.