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Cal Fire Helps Train Japanese Firefighters

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Updated: 12/04/2013 6:27 pm
    More than 69,000 firefighters in the U.S. were injured on the job in 2012, and another 64 were killed in the line of duty. Fighting fires is clearly a dangerous job, and this week firefighters from Japan are in Butte County to learn how to save one of their peers.

     Lead instructor Andy Ebner says, "In Japan, they fight their fires a lot from the outside and they don't have that many firefighter deaths. However, they're becoming more aggressive with their firefighting and making an interior attack. They don't have any kind of firefighter survival training or firefighter rescue training."

     Instructors are passing on lessons they've learned from their time on the job. That way, if another firefighter is in trouble they'll know how to react

     "A lot of the drills we do are based on firefighter deaths, from getting firefighters up out of windows, retrieving firefighters that have fallen through floors or going through drags and carries. These are things we've learned from mistakes we've made in the past," says Ebner.

     All of the trainees are instructors from different fire departments throughout Japan, but with only a week to take everything in, the training won't stop when they leave America.

     Japanese rescue instructor Hiro Sato says, "One week is not enough. So, when we go back to Japan we will have lots of practice before teaching anyone else."

     Training will wrap up on Friday when the firefighters will experience different scenarios and be asked to put everything they've learned to the test. Cal Fire is working with Arroyo Rescue Training Company for this week's drills, and this isn't the first time firefighters from Japan have visited Butte County. They also made a trip in 2011 for firefighter survival training.

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