Training burn is a ‘win-win’ for Okeechobee firefighters and owner of condemned property

OKEECHOBEE — On Monday, Feb. 12, Okeechobee County Fire Rescue (OCFR) and the City of Okeechobee Fire Department participated in training with a controlled burning of a structure located in the southwest section of the city.

The event was intended for training purposes of both departments’ new firefighters while benefiting the property owner with lower costs for removal of the structure.

“It is a ‘win-win’ for everyone including the nearby neighborhood. The event is cost-effective while saving tax dollars for our citizens,” stated Chief Herb Smith.

Photo by Keli Trimnal

OCFR Captains Ryan Hathaway and Earl Wooten oversaw the event while the city fire department assisted. Both departments have new firefighters who were taken inside of the structure where small fires were started and allowed to build to a point, at which the firefighters were instructed to extinguish the flames. The exercise was done
in a controlled environment to simulate what firefighters shall encounter daily during emergencies.

“The event demonstrated the professionalism of both departments working together for the same objective of protecting our citizens. The citizens of Okeechobee should feel confident that their fire departments are prepared and trained for emergency events. We have pride in what we do and appreciate the support of all who live and visit our community,” Chief Smith stated.

The training scene included three engines, one tanker, one medical unit, one brush truck as well as administrative units.

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