Firefighter for a day


by Ryan O'Donnell

Bio | Email | Follow: @3TVODonnell

Posted on February 22, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 25 at 5:57 PM

GLENDALE -- Firefighters battle fires and save lives every day. But few people realize how much training and effort goes into being a firefighter.

Well, Good Morning Arizona's Ryan O'Donnell got to suit up for a first-hand look Friday morning, as he and other members of the media and Glendale City Council got to become "firefighters for a day" with the Glendale Fire Department.

Participants were able to take part in a live house fire experience, learn about burn towers and ladder trucks, and even how to drive a fire truck in monsoon conditions.

"Sometimes you have to go 40 to 50 miles an hour to go to a call," says Glendale firefighter Michael Young. "And sometimes during monsoon season when it rains, it gets slick and changes the conditions for a driver."

Ryan suited up in a full uniform, and one of his first training tasks was to go into the 'search and rescue simulator'.

"When you get on scene, we have to search for victims; that's our number one priority is life safety," Young says. "This simulates conditions that we see. It's much different than a movie. It's completely blacked out in there. Lots of smoke."

Ryan even attached a camera to his helmet and gave viewers a birds-eye view of what he saw inside the simulator, and what firefighters experience in a real fire.

Later, Ryan got behind the wheel of a fire truck on an emergency driver course, learning all the same techniques and maneuvers that firefighters must learn.

"We teach them to be comfortable with the rig that they're in ," says Captain Richard Franklin of the Glendale Fire Department. "That way they're prepared to take on any emergency situation."