Houston Firefighters Get High-Rise Training

Houston firefighters will receive additional training for responding to high-rise fires. As Houston Public Radio's Laurie Johnson reports, they'll undergo fire simulations in some of the city's biggest buildings.

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A class of 24 Houston Fire Cadets are tromping through the stairwells of a building in Greenway Plaza. Each cadet wears or carries up to 100 pounds of equipment. Their face masks are waxed over so they have limited visibility and they have to shout to hear one another.

HFD Assistant Chief Omero Longoria says it's a realistic training environment.

"Building systems are complex and often unique. Such dangers as entrapment, entanglement, electrocution of falls down elevator shafts or stairwells are real problems that the firefighters can encounter."

HFD will conduct high-rise fire training once a month, under a new agreement with Crescent Real Estate and the Houston Building Owners and Managers Association. The two groups are opening up a variety of buildings as training ground for HFD.

"Puts them in the building where they respond, their area. So this is really great that we're able to get to different areas of town."

The new agreement will provide training opportunities on an ongoing basis in buildings of various sizes. Crescent also donated nearly $4,000 to purchase new equipment for the fire simulations. Laurie Johnson, Houston Public Radio News.

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