Tuscaloosa firefighters conduct first major training since COVID

Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 3:09 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - It’s one of the most dangerous jobs around, the job of a firefighter and these days they do far more than put out fires. There’s rescue work involved and as the old saying goes, ‘practice makes perfect,’ and that was theme behind training on the Black Warrior River in Tuscaloosa on June 24.

Tuscaloosa firefighters have taken advantage of the clear but really hot weather to get nine days of training work in, a meaningful amount of training since COVID.

“You have to put your hips into it and definitely get a good arc on it,” said 21-year old Tuscaloosa firefighter Tristan Williams.

Tristan Williams spent part of his Friday morning throwing a rope out in the water on the Black Warrior River, a simple training exercise but one that could come in handy when you factor in what’s happened in the last two years in Tuscaloosa County, flood-related drownings that have claimed the lives of five people.

“And it’s to keep up with our proficiency,” Williams added.

Hunter Ingram says it was good to get back in the swing of things in terms of training because this is the first major exercise for Tuscaloosa firefighters since COVID.

“This better prepares our department for emergency situations due to high water and flooding,” said firefighter Hunter Ingram.

Under a nice shade tree at Manderson Landing the firemen gathered to refamiliarize themselves with key terminology.

These are the men who often answer the call of duty to other counties and states because of their expertise, especially with their inflatable rescue boat with a specialized motor.

“It’s enclosed and housed inside so when it comes up on rocks and gravel it doesn’t damage the motor.”

Back to Tristan Williams on the river bank this young firefighter worked to polish part of his rescue skills, knowing there will come a time when it gets real and that perfect toss of the rope could the very thing that saves a life.

After June 24, the firefighters have three more days of training, all scheduled for next week.


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