KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Some firefighters had experiences this weekend they’ve never had before.
"It's an entirely different world," said John Estes of the Hurricane Fire Department.
It was Estes’ first time inside the live burn simulator which is just one of the 39 courses offered at the Sissonville Fire and Rescue School.
More than 750 firefighters from six states were on hand to better prepare themselves to help you survive a life and death situation.
"We'll be able to do all kinds of different things -- there's different methods of going in and doing rescues, self rescues for guys, just a whole list of stuff," said Lt. Patrick McCafferty of the Ripley Fire Department.
The Ripley Fire Department is getting a new ladder truck so the exercises they did on Tyler Mountain’s truck were invaluable.
"There's some different rope techniques, different ideas from different departments about how they do their truck company operations," said Lt. McCafferty.
But it’s not just about what the instructors teach, it’s also about a collaboration of ideas.
"Keep an open mind -- look how different departments do their tactics and how they operate and then take it back home and use it for yourselves," said Lt. McCafferty.
Because when it comes to your safety, the men and women training want to make sure they’re prepared.
"Volunteer departments protect a lot of people -- the vast majority of the population in West Virginia -- without this training we couldn't be as effective as we are," said Estes.
It's life saving exercises to protect themselves, you and your property.
The fire school continues next weekend.