By: Melina Matthes
OMAHA (kptm) - Firefighters go through hours of training. Over the past week the Cooper nuclear power plant's fire brigade prepared for the worst by battling flames in a simulated environment. Fox 42's Melina Matthes joined them for an exclusive behind the scenes look at their training.
They say safety is their number one goal. That's why the Cooper nuclear power plant's fire brigade trains annually. Fire Safety Lead, John Shrader says, "we could have any kind of a fire that you might find in an industrial facility and so we need to show the fire brigade those kinds of fires and how to deal with any and all kinds of fires."
"You never know what can happen from a fire so that's why we're doing this," firefighter, Lance Kreifels says.
I wanted to see firsthand what these firefighters go through. So, after jumping into a pair of spare overalls, lacing up my boots, strapping on an oxygen tank, and fitting my helmet, I was ready to come face to face to the flames. Kicking the door open, crawling toward the flames above, I was surrounded by fire.
"When you're in the room and there's a fire going, stay low, attack the fire, make sure it's out. There's times when it gets a little edgy in there so you just got to stay calm and stay with your partner," Kreifels says.
With the touch of a button, the captain ignites another set of flames. "We're inside the training facility, in a simulated living room, the flames are nearly 300 degrees Fahrenheit."
"The adrenaline gets going a little bit once they send you in, so you just got to try and maintain it. Keep yourself under control," Kreifels says.
Finally the flames are put out. The firefighters head for the door. Stopping when they see a victim lying on the ground. Their only goal, getting them to safety, "that's why we do what we do."
Training to save lives when the heat is on.
Officials at Cooper nuclear power plant say the nuclear reactor is underwater. This training is only for the possibility of a compressor, pump, or other piece of equipment catching fire.
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