Hattiesburg firefighters train for the road

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Most people see firefighters and know they battle fires andtend to wreck victims, but most don't think about the difficulty in getting toa scene.

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

"We got something set up here, kinda lets the guys know andmakes 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 dispatchcenter, emotion and adrenaline runs high.

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

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

"Firefighters have been killed in the line of dutyresponding to calls, running red lights, stuff like that, not realizing we donot have the right away, we are basically asking the passengers  and thedrivers on the road to please give us the right away so we can get around youand 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, weare going in the left hand lane, and they are supposed to get over in the righthand 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," saidFielder.

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

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

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