GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (CBS4) – Around 400 firefighters from different departments took part in a unique training exercise on Friday to prepare them to save each other in a fire.

These “mayday scenarios” are actually going on for six days with 48 drills.

A handful of departments all across the area will use the information they’re learning to train firefighters this fall.

When firefighters receive a mayday call from one of their own, the rapid intervention team heads in.

To rescue a firefighter trapped inside a burning building multiple responders from different departments have to work together.

In one drill it took just over a minute to find the down firefighter and start getting air back into his lungs.

“There are no time outs. The fire is still burning in the building. There’s still other things that have to take place, so you have to redeploy in such a way that you’re still taking care of the fire, that you’re putting the fire out, and that you’re still getting to that firefighter as quickly as possible,” said South Metro Fire Chief Mike West.

These drills train teams to avoid situations like the house blaze that severely burned two firefighters in Arvada three years ago.

“We’re going in, we’re saving our own. And that’s one of the most important things that we can do,” said Pete Tremewan from South Metro Fire.

A rapid intervention team is on standby at every fire that crews respond to.

“We are prepared for that and we’re used to that adrenaline when we go into a real scenario which, hopefully we don’t ever have to do,” said West Metro Fire Capt. Travis Hopwood.


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