LSC Hosts First External Fire Department for Training

Firefighters and college learn from training.

DULUTH, Minn.- Lake Superior College’s Emergency Response Training Center hosted some visitors from afar–the Rochester Fire Department used the Center for their required fire ground training.

The Rochester Fire Department is the first external group to use the recently completed multi-level facility.

Firefighters used mock-up buildings called burn boxes to test their ability to go into a structure fire and rescue people.

According to fire officials, this hands on training is pivotal to test their crews’ skills before encountering the real thing out in the field.

“You can’t feel heat from a book, you can’t see smoke like this from a book,” said Rochester Capt. David Worstman. “This helps make them more confident when they go to the next fire, makes them more proficient at it to be able to pull the hose lines and actually put water on true fires.”

“It’s a very big deal.”

Instructors at the college in the firefighting program said both the college and the fire department involved get something out of the training.

“Anytime we can get somebody to come in from the outside everybody’s learning they’re learning from us we’re learning from them,” Instructor Dave Werner said. “The scope of what we have to do these days as firefighters has expanded so great that we’re tasked with being proficient at so many different things.”

“And at the end of the day we still have to remember how to fight fires even if we’re not going to a lot of fires we still have to be good at that job.”

Live fire will be used in the newly built burn boxes for nearly all of the training rotations both afternoons.

LSC is in communication with several other fire departments throughout the region to schedule similar trainings next year.

They hope to become the regional training destination for fire departments throughout the Midwest.

The training facility was constructed by LSC faculty and staff, volunteers from neighboring fire departments, and donated materials from industry and community partners.

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