East Coast Firefighters Train Fort Smith Department

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Firefighters from the New York City and the Washington, D.C. areas are in town training the Fort Smith Fire Department this week.

“It's a great chance to always kind of renew your skills and just become better at what your profession is,” said Jarod Blake, a firefighter from the New York City area.

Firefighters hone their skills and practice for real life emergencies.

“We have to be really efficient at what we do you know people's lives and property's at stake,” said Battalion Chief Skip Mathews, of the Fort Smith Fire Department.

Mathews says learning from people from larger departments gives Fort Smith firefighters a different perspective. “They're teaching us how to do it,” he said. “Then we kind of tweak it to our manpower and we make it work for us.”

Battalion Chief Shane Darwick is from Maryland. He trains firefighters how to use and maneuver the ladder truck. “We take best practices that we've learned from everyone around the country and we're just passing those along,” he said.

Firefighters practice search and rescue techniques with Blake. “We're able to make us better firefighters, be better prepared for the unpredictable,” he said.

The training course lasts about a week.