Forced Entry Training for the Tallahassee Fire Department

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Firefighters spent the day practicing forced entry maneuvers that could someday save someone's life.

The time it takes the firefighters to make it into a door could be a matter of life and death, and having the right tools is not always the problem, rather knowing when to use them.

CAPT Rufus Graddy of the Tallahassee Fire Department says, "We can open up 15, 20, 30 doors, find the best method to do that and it just gives us a good opportunity to do it. No two fires are alike, and you never know what you're up against until you get there."

The department received permission from Florida State University to train on the site of the old Florida High School before it's knocked down and the property becomes part of the new FSU Medical School.

Michael O'Grady of the Tallahassee Fire Department says, "On a real duty, it's our time to do our job. We're not supposed to be out training. We're supposed to be efficient because life and death depends on how quickly we can get into the buildings and remove people and get into the seed of the fire."

The metal doors at the old site are hundreds of dollars a piece.

Michael adds, "We're unable to get this type of training because of the cost, but with them donating this building it gave us the ability to get better training."

For these firefighters, the opportunity is priceless.

The Fire Department's training site on Pensacola Street is currently under construction, so they used an abandoned building for Tuesday’s highly realistic training.