Columbia Fire Department teaching survival training

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COLUMBIA- The Columbia Fire Department hosted firefighter survival training for its firefighters on Wednesday morning. It's the first day of a three-day training period.

At the Fire Department Training Academy, participants learned strategies for rescuing trapped firefighters, including themselves. The course also taught several other life-saving techniques.

"What we've got going on today is multiple stations that simulate real world emergencies they might encounter," said Battalion Chief Brad Frazier.

Trainers from Local Emergency Training Specialists, or LETS, assisted the firefighters through the multiple stations.

One of the props simulates bailing out of a window. Another simulates getting out of a basement. The firefighters also learned how to raise a ladder in rescue scenarios. They also built a maze inside of a semi-truck for the firefighters to navigate through on their hands and knees.

Battalion Chief Brad Fraizer said the training costs around $15,000 and is funded by state grants.

He said the purpose of the course is to teach the firefighters how to react in situations when they're separated from each other and on their own.

"That's where every second counts and their life could really be on the line," said Frazier.

He said the firefighters will be shuffling through the course in groups of about 18 firefighters at a time over the three-day period.