Hattiesburg firefighters train for the road - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Hattiesburg firefighters train for the road


Most people see firefighters and know they battle fires and tend to wreck victims, but most don't think about the difficulty in getting to a scene.

It takes  serious skill and training for firefighters to get to a scene when time is of the essence.

"We got something set up here, kinda lets the guys know and makes them aware and more comfortable in their situations and surroundings," said Hattiesburg Fire Department Engineer, David Fielder.

When the page comes across the radio from the dispatch center, emotion and adrenaline runs high.

"We get excited going to code 3 calls, everybody gets excited, the adrenaline gets pumping and your driver included, starts to get really excited about trying to get their first, everybody wants to be first on the scene to do what they can to help out most," said Fielder.

The biggest obstacle that firefighters deal with in responding to a scene is traffic and drivers who don't know how to react to emergency vehicles.

"Firefighters have been killed in the line of duty responding to calls, running red lights, stuff like that, not realizing we do not have the right away, we are basically asking the passengers  and the drivers on the road to please give us the right away so we can get around you and get to the call," said Fielder.

Fielder also stressed for the public to know what to do when a fire truck is on the road. 

"Whenever we are running any kind of lights or sirens, we are going in the left hand lane, and they are supposed to get over in the right hand lane, it's the way it's supposed to go, everybody needs to clear right, you clear right, you open up that path for us to be able to get through," said Fielder.

The drivers all have to complete the safety course in 8 minutes, and for each cone hit or violation 5 seconds is added to their finishing time.

"It's an important thing, like I said, we have a very young department, we have a bunch of young guys starting to drive, starting to get behind the wheel, guys with a year, two years experience maybe, some people have never stepped behind a wheel of a truck this size," said Fielder.

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