ENC fire officials hold live burn training exercise

ONSLOW COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – One Eastern Carolina town organized a live burn training exercise in order to prepare for the real deal.

“You only have a few minutes to act fast,” Onslow County Fire Rescue Chief Jim Lathrop said.

Sunday, The Swansboro Fire Department hosted a live burn training exercise with other departments to get ready for an actual fire.

“The ability to train together in a situation like this,” Swansboro Fire Department Chief Jacob Randall said. “We work on consistency, we work on fire ground operations to make sure everything across the board is standardized.”

Using hay and wood, fire departments went into the home in teams and began a controlled fire in one part of the house. They then worked together to put out the flames.

Chief Lathrop said this training is valuable as it helps new firefighters get ready for their first fire call.

“This is what they will experience at a normal structure fire situation, but the opportunity they get that experience prior to is invaluable honestly,” Chief Lathrop said.

Fire officials said having smoke detectors in every sleeping room and having a plan with your family can give you a head start if the unfortunate ever happens.

“Everyone should practice a way out,” Chief Randall said. “Everybody should have a meeting place. Know what to do in this situation.”

By doing this crucial training once a year, officials say it can help save lives.

Pumpkin Center Volunteer Fire Department, Piney Green Volunteer Fire Department, Hubert Volunteer Fire Department, Camp Lejeune Fire & Emergency Services, Emerald Isle Fire Department, Indian Beach Fire Department, and Richlands Fire Department, were also a part of the training Sunday.