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Pocatello fire station sets car ablaze


POCATELLO — The Pocatello Fire Department started its own car fire as part of a recruit training simulation on Wednesday, Oct. 21.

The training was primarily for a probationary firefighter. Although the newcomer to the department is experienced, rookie training is mandatory.

“We’re putting him through an academy over 30 to 45 days. This particular rookie has been working in the fire service for 12 to 13 years already, so his academy is a little more condensed,” said Travis Smith, division chief of training.

This simulation is classified as a vehicle extrication, meaning the firefighter has to remove sections of the car before gaining access to victim.


“You never know what a fire’s going to do,” said probationary firefighter Tony Catt. “You never know how it’s going to burn until it’s right in front of you. Having that hands-on experience really prepares you.”

Two cars were used in the scenario. The recruit used the jaws of life and various other tools to practice a rescue in the first vehicle, which was not set on fire. In the other, the car was on fire and extinguished by the trainee and other fighters.

It took only minutes to extinguish the car fire with a fire hose.

Smith said the best way a driver can stay safe is by wearing a seatbelt. In the event of a vehicle fire it’s best to remove yourself from the car regardless of injuries.

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