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Green Bay firefighter recruits see intense training during house fire simulation

Posted at 6:04 PM, May 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-05 19:05:39-04

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — The Green Bay Metro Fire Department has 17 new recruits.

On Friday, they had some intense training.

"We're learning how to work properly as a team," Wesley Pautz, aGBMFD recruit, said.

Friday's simulation for the recruits was involving a house fire.

"It's a majority of the calls that we're going on when it comes to a fire," said recruit Colton Reince. "So, it's kind of our bread and butter."

"As we're getting close to graduating our recruits, we're ramping up still with heavy scenarios," GBMFD Training Captain Kyle Lauf said.

In full gear and all, the simulation involved firefighters rescuing one of their own from a basement closet.

Firefighters navigated in the dark with fake smoke filling up the house.

"Just putting all the pieces together of what we've been doing for the last eight weeks," Pautz said.

The gear the firefighters wear is at least 75 pounds, including the helmet, coat, and air pack. They also carry tools with them, which makes their gear even heavier.

Reince said doing house fire simulation exercises are the most rigorous.

"It's not easy work," Reince said. "[You've] got to have your conditioning."

Lauf said the 17 recruits the fire department has is one of the largest classes in recent years.

"It really creates more of a team dynamic," Lauf said.

A big team working together that will help them protect and serve a big community.

"We're excited to sharpen our blades, you know, put our skills to the test, and be as good as we can because they're expecting the best from us," Pautz said.

Lauf said the recruits will graduate from the academy toward the end of the month.

The 17 new recruits bring the total number of sworn firefighters in the department to 212.

"It's definitely needed, especially with the community base that we have," Lauf said.