Practice Makes Perfect

Practice makes perfect.

How many times, over the course of your life, have you been told that? If you grew up with parents like mine, it is probably something that you have heard a lot. It is a simple statement that rings true, especially when it comes to firefighting.

As firefighters, we can often spend more time training than we spend on actual calls, and that can be a great thing. Odds are, your local fire department trains together at least one night a week, year round, to make sure that they are in tip-top shape, always waiting and ready for the next call.

Despite the name, a lot of the calls a firefighter respond to are not fire related; they are car accidents, medical calls, and even occasionally chasing bears. So we obviously spend a lot of time training for those calls (except the bear chasing thing 😉 ). However, I think it is safe to say that training for fire calls is the most fun.

So how do we train for these events? Obviously we can’t go around lighting fires just anywhere! We use specialized facilities to create realistic fire scenarios. My department visits the Burn Tower in Calgary a bunch of times every year; this large concrete structure allows us to light fires, smoke up the building and run real drills in a controlled environment.

I wanted to share some photos from our last training day at the Burn Tower. These are the days where we really get to bond with our crew and practice all the different techniques that we learn in textbooks and classrooms.


Staging the truck outside the Burn Tower


SCBA bottles 


Firefighter have lots off cool tools to make their jobs possible: the Thermal Imaging Camera, or TIC is a vital piece of gear.



Redwoods newest firefighters getting ready to go into the Burn Tower for the first time.


Coordination of different attacks is vital to keep everyone safe.


Group shot from our last day at the Burn Tower


That’s me!


Firefighting is messy work


Group selfie: I love these guys!


Two probationary firefighters from Redwood Meadows protect exposures


I would like to thank Chief Evans of Redwood fire for the group photo and the close up of me. 

4 thoughts on “Practice Makes Perfect

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