California Crews Train to Prepare for Fire Season

With California’s intense drought and a huge jump in the number of recent fires, dozens of firefighters gathered in the East County to conduct their annual fire preparedness training, reports NBC 7 San Diego.

The Viejas Casino parking lot in Alpine served as a good spot or some real-life exercises, including training on communications, structure protection, hose deployments and survival under simulated emergency conditions. Various local emergency service agencies came together for the training event in preparation for fire season and the hot months ahead.

As a helicopter flew overhead spraying down faux flames, fire crews below hustled through the brush with hoses in hand.

The real-life training exercise brought in several fire engines with dozens of firefighters put to the test. They were evaluated on everything from how they pull the hose to how well they were communicating and using their resources.

This year, Cal Fire staffing is already at its peak, so the agency can be ready for the worst this fire season.

“I was fortunate enough to have experience with the Harris and Cedar fires years ago, but each fire is different – you can never be prepared enough,” said Capt. Jim Hemphill of Heartland Fire and Rescue.

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