Live Fire Training

It is Memorial Day Weekend, and while most are relaxing and enjoying a long holiday weekend, 45 of the area’s most dedicated public servants were training in the heat and humidity Saturday afternoon so they can do a better job for area residents.

These men and women were from 9 Fire Departments across Cherokee and DeKalb Counties. The Leesburg Fire Department, under the leadership of Chief Joe Sonaty, hosted the event.

They gathered at a condemned house on US 411 in the Fairview Community to set it ablaze to train inside the burning structure on how to attack the blaze from inside.

It was a typical summer type day in the south with heat and humidity but these individuals were in full turnout gear from head to toe with air packs and all safety equipment needed.

There were three Professional Firemen giving the instructions for the younger and less experienced to get the necessary training and experience to help them be able to stay safe inside burning structures and to help get people out of a fire. A safety team was on standby in the event there were any problems. They were assigned the task of quickly extinguishing the blaze if there were any issues.


When the instructors began laying out what they would be doing while inside the burning structure, one could tell it was all serious business to ensure the safety of all. Every precaution was taken to prevent injury. One department chief was assigned the task of counting the number of firemen going inside for the initial training segment and then count each one as they came out to ensure no one was left inside.

Then teams of four went inside the burning house to learn to attack the blaze working together as a team and getting out as a team.

At least one fireman experienced heat related discomfort after being inside the burning structure for a period of time.

The training event went off without any problems.

Chief Joe Sonaty had these comments after the training:

Chief Sonaty wanted to extend a “Big Thank You” to all firefighters who participated and the spectators who watched. Sonaty also said he was  grateful to the owners of the Coosa Corner at Leesburg who donated Water and Hydration drinks for the event.


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