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Great Falls firefighters train at closed Longfellow Elementary

Posted at 2:54 PM, Feb 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-11 18:29:10-05

GREAT FALLS – On Monday, firefighters with Great Falls Fire Rescue were able to use Longfellow Elementary School for training.

Great Falls Fire Rescue Training Officer Shane Klippenes said it is always good for crews to train outside of their normal grounds.

“Our training center, the guys train there so much they literally know, ‘If I park the truck here, the hose is a perfect reach to a victim rescue,’” Klippenes said.

According to Klippenes, the school allowed the firefighters to problem solve and use their skills needed for an emergency.

Crews practiced their search and rescue abilities during the training.

“A school like this has tons and tons of different doors. From good solid steel commercial doors, to residential doors, and roll down doors. It gives our people the opportunity to employ forcible entry tactics,” Klippenes said.

Klippenes said they hoped to use the opportunity for live fire training, but extended below zero temperatures made that training unsafe for firefighters and the equipment.

He added they were appreciative of Great Falls Public Schools and Sletten Construction for holding off the demolition for them, which also allowed joint training with the Great Falls Police Department.

Reporting by Margaret DeMarco for MTN News