ROCKAWAY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Every day, FDNY members put their lives on the line to protect each and every New Yorker. That job requires constant training.

CBS2’s Tara Jakeway got an inside look at one of those intense training sessions.

Members of the FDNY’s Engine 276 crawl on all fours, following a hose line into an apartment. They’re relieving another unit that has run out of air and unknowingly left a man behind.

Members of the FDNY’s Engine 276 go through a training session at the Rockaway Tactical Training Facility. (Credit: CBS2)

They grab their fellow first responder, represented by a mannequin, wrap a harness around what they call “packaging” and pull to safety. But the job isn’t over.

Now they switch to a live firefighter. The whole team works together to remove his department issued protective layers, so EMS can get to work. Now they’ve successfully completed the “firefighter down removal drill” at the brand new Rockaway Tactical Training Facility.

“It’s great that it’s in Rockaway. It’s a lot closer to us,” FDNY member Daiana Kriss said.

For their mandatory training, the South Brooklyn-based unit used to trek to the only training facility in the city on Randall’s Island.

The FDNY Tactical Training Facility in Rockaway (Credit: CBS2)

“These companies could be in traffic for over two hours one way and then two hours back and then with the drill, it could be almost the whole day,” FDNY Chief Frank Rosciano said.

But then the Rockaway facility opened three weeks ago. Now, the 40 fire companies in the area can spend less time “out of service” commuting to training and more time using those skills. That extra “in service” time is invaluable in this city, where the FDNY responded to 1.5 million calls last year.

“There’s a lot of things going on at a fire. Everyone has their own job,” Kriss said.

A grayed-out face piece used to simulate smoke conditions during an FDNY training session (Credit: CBS2)

During the “search” drill, one of those jobs is to stay by the door, yelling your location to those inside. The others advance maintaining contact with the walls, their vision blurred by simulated smoke conditions, courtesy of a grayed-out face piece, but still they succeed.

Fifty to 60 members of New York’s bravest will be training at the new facility weekly.

Many of the tactics used in training drills were implemented following what firefighters learned while on the scene of fatal fires.


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