WFFD Changes Academy Teaching Methods for Drought

Falls remains in Stage 3: Drought Emergency and lake levels continue to drop.

And with the wildfire season on it's way it has many concerned.

It's not only a problem for Fire Departments across Texoma but for the Wichita Falls Department which is currently holding their Academy for Firefighter Trainees.

Fire officials say they still have to follow the Stage 3 Restrictions just like everybody else, which means using city water from a fire hydrant won't be happening during this academy's training.

Wichita falls firefighter trainees are getting a lesson on ladders.

"Talking about ground ladders, the different types, the different angles and lengths that we have. And basically how to use them and if they are safe to use when we get to the fire ground," said a Firefighter Trainee, Kevin Morgan.

It's part of their 14 week academy to prepare them to serve our community, but this year fire officials say that training will change drastically.

"Water is our primary distinguishing agent that we use to put fires out, but because of the drought this year there will be lots of dry hose evolutions that we will do at the beginning of the process," said Tim Pierson, WFFD Captain.

"We'll just kind of have to go through the motions and probably just train more with dry lines, it just a matter of them getting stuff into position and that's what we are really trying to teach them," said Donald Hughes, WFFD Training Battalion Chief.

Not only have the lessons changed but so have the responsibility of those trainees.

"As recruits we are supposed to wash the fire trucks everyday that hasn't really been the case. We use rags just to wipe it off since we can't use an open butt hose," said Morgan.

And though this fire academy will look different than in years past they say when a fire calls their recruits will still be loaded up and ready to go.

Fire officials say they will be doing lots of repetition with dry fire hoses to compensate.

And when they do perform their live fire situation training they'll be using effluent water from the River Oak Plant.

They say this is the first time they've had to adjust their training because of a drought.

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